The Music Makers - Certificate of Merit

Certificate of Merit Program:

The Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) sponsors a music program entitled Certificate of Merit (CM), which was 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.

The Certificate of Merit program was designed with the following goals:

• To provide a systematic and comprehensive plan to develop performance skill, technique, ear training, sight reading, and understanding of music theory.
• To develop practice goals to help students maintain a steady and focused approach to their music studies.
• To encourage students to strive for musical excellence.
• To create opportunities in which students may share their music with others.

How Certificate of Merit works:

• A detailed CM syllabus has been created and designed for each of the above mentioned instruments.
•There are specific set of requirements for each of the eleven levels.
• Student registration takes place from September 15 through November 15. Your teacher will register your student through secure online database.
• Student must be 5 years or older as of November 15 to participate in the CM program.
• Students work with their teachers on selected literature, technique elements, sight reading, theory and ear training.
• 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 Certificate of Merit 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 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.


• Registration for Certificate of Merit is through your piano teacher during the month of October each year.


• Registrations fees range from $ 30.00 to $ 53.00 depending on the students level.

Schedule and Location:

• California State University Long Beach (CSULB), on Saturday March 28th and Sunday March 29th, 2015.
• Each student will be scheduled by the Music Teachers Association of California.
• The Theory exam is given only on Saturday.

Student Information:

Student Information Form
CSULB Music Department Map


CM2014 Student Information
MAP CSULB Music Department

Study Guides:


Level 3 Study Guide
Level 4 Study Guide
Level 5 Study Guide
Level 6 Study Guide
Level 7 Study Guide
Level 8 Study Guide
Level 9 Study Guide Part 1
Level 9 Study Guide Part 2
Level Advanced Study Guide Part 1
Level Advanced Study Guide Part 2

Technique for All Students:
Level Prep - Level 3
Levels 4 - 6
Levels 7 - 9

Technique for CM Students:

Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Level 6
Level 7
Level 8
Level 9

Technique Examples - All Students

Scales and Modes
Cadences, Chords Progressions and Modulations
Arpeggios, Polyrythms