The Madison Area Music Association, Heid Music and WISC-TV3 Join Together to Create the 1st Chair Program

Features 07 Feb 2013

1st chair logoThe Madison Area Music Association, Heid Music and WISC-TV3

Join Together to Create the 1st Chair Program


You’ve no doubt heard of WISC-TV3’s Topnotch Teachers program, where the community nominates an outstanding teacher on a monthly basis. That teacher receives recognition by way of sponsored television ads and a page on All the nominated teachers are also honored at an annual event.

The program is important as it highlights just how valuable and impressive the people who teach our children – perhaps the most important occupation in our society – can be. It also gives these instructors a morale boost that they can really use. Their pride transfers to the students, who can further appreciate and aspire to the qualities that led to their teacher’s recognition.

Logo-w-Color-w-TextThe Madison Area Music Association and WISC have joined forces to create the 1st Chair, a program that honors outstanding music students in schools and in private instruction. The program is being sponsored by Heid Music and works much like the Topnotch Teachers program. Music students are nominated by their teachers or other community members, and each month a student is chosen to occupy the 1st Chair. These nominees will be featured in a spot on WISC-TV3, TVW and on as well as on the MAMA website. All the chosen students will be invited to the annual Madison Area Music Awards where they will be honored in a special presentation and receive an honorary MAMA award. The 1st Chair program is open to youths ages five to eighteen.

Studies have repeatedly shown that the study of music may increase cognitive development in other areas of study, particularly in language, math and science. There are other benefits as well. Accomplishments in music give a young person a sense of self-worth, building self-esteem and self-confidence. Music helps them to analyze their world and their individual situations, and express their feelings and observations, even their desires and dreams for a better world. In the school setting, involvement in music keeps kids interested in staying in school.

This program would not be possible without the support of Heid Music, a family-owned business founded in Appleton in 1948. Today Heid Music is the leading music emporium in Wisconsin, with music stores in Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, Oshkosh and Wisconsin Rapids. The company excels at providing music-education opportunities with workshops and other in-store events. Through the Heid Family Foundation they are working in their communities and with schools to bolster participation and education in music.

The Madison Area Music Association (MAMA, Inc.) was founded in 2003. Its mission as a nonprofit organization is to provide musical instruments for Madison-area youths and to fund youth music-education programs. In 2004 the first Madison Area Music Awards, Madison’s version of the Grammys, was held. 2013 will mark the tenth presentation of this event, which honors the talents and contributions of professional and youth musicians across all genres while featuring a wide array of live performances on a big stage.

The 1st Chair program is now accepting nominations, and the first student will be chosen in February. Additional students will be honored in March, April, May and June.  An online submission form is available at ( Official rules are also posted there.

For additional information:

Heid Music

Madison Area Music Association

The 10th Annual Madison Area Music Awards will be held at the Capitol Theater in the Overture Center on Sunday, June 23rd at 7:00 p.m.


About the author

Rick Tvedt

Rick is publisher of Local Sounds Magazine, formerly Rick's Cafe, Wisconsin's Regional Music Newspaper. He is also the Executive Director for MAMA, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces the Madison Area Music Awards and raises funds to promote youth music programs.

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