Here is an explanation of Certificate of Merit testing, which I offer to my students. More information can be found on MTAC’s website, MTAC.

The Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) sponsors a music study program entitled Certificate of Merit (CM). Initiated in 1933,the CM Program now involves approximately 30,000 students annually statewide. There are evaluation opportunities for students of Piano,Violin, Cello, Viola, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Horn,Voice and Harp.Goals of Certificate of Merit:To provide a systematic and comprehensive plan to develop performance skill, technique, ear training, sight reading/singing andunderstanding of music theory.To develop practical goals to help students maintain a steady and focused approach to their musical studies.To encourage students to strive for musical excellence.To create opportunities in which students may share their music with others.

How the CM Program Works:
A detailed CM Syllabus has been created and designed for each of the above-mentioned instruments. There are specific set requirements for each of the eleven CM levels. Your child’s teacher will decide on the level that is appropriate. Student Registration takes place from September 15 through November 15. Your child’s teacher will register your child through a secure online database. Students must be age 5 or older as of November 15 (the CM Registration Deadline) to participate in the CM Program. Students work with their teachers on selected literature, technique elements, sight reading, theory and ear training for their enrolled level. Registered students participate in an annual evaluation held from mid-February through April. From the evaluation, students receive a written assessment.  Students will also complete a written theory exam, which includes an ear training component. Upon successful completion of all segments of the evaluation, students receive an official MTAC CM Certificate. Senior medallions will be awarded to eligible high school seniors. Students who demonstrate exceptional skill at his/her evaluation may be selected to perform at annual MTAC State Convention Recitals.
Your child(ren) will benefit tremendously from this wonderful educational opportunity and experience. Please consult with your child’s teacher for more information regarding registration and preparation.

General Information:
Any teacher who is an active, provisional, Cal Plan or student member of MTAC may enroll students in the Certificate of Merit program. There are two categories of enrollment. Path A and Path B. Enrollment in Path A is limited to teachers in good standing who are California residents and who are affiliated with a local branch of MTAC. Registration in Path B is open to any MTAC member teacher in good standing. Path A students are evaluated on an assigned date at a site determined by the local branch of MTAC. These evaluations are
administered by state-appointed evaluators. Path B students are evaluated in their home studio by their teacher. Path B evaluations are flexible and may be administered at a time determined by the teacher. Both categories include all elements of the CM program: performance, technique, ear training, sight reading and written theory tests.