Certificate of Merit®

This is a state MTAC-sanctioned program. Student registration for this program is through the state MTAC website, new.mtac.org. Please visit mtac.org for more information.

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Certificate of Merit® (CM) is a stimulating educational opportunity and experience for students who study with a teacher who is a member of MTAC. Initiated in 1933, CM is sponsored and run by the MTAC and now annually involves approximately 30,000 students statewide.

Certificate of Merit® outlines a detailed year-by-year curriculum of study for the successful and effective learning of a musical instrument through the publication of comprehensive syllabi (one for each instrument) and a system of yearly evaluations.

During the evaluations, experienced adjudicators hear students perform selected literature, technique elements and sightreading, and students complete a written theory exam, which includes an ear training component. Following the evaluation, students receive a comprehensive assessment of their performance.

A successful evaluation results in a certificate being given, in recognition that the student has achieved the specified requirements for the specified level (representing one year) of study.

The Certificate of Merit® program in California also offers performance opportunities for outstanding student performers.

Student eligibility
Participation is limited to those studying one of the following instruments with a member of a local branch of the MTAC:

  • Keyboard
  • Violin, viola, cello
  • Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone/euphonium
  • Harp
  • Voice

Students are enrolled by their teachers, using a secure online database system, in the fall for participation in the following spring. Annual evaluations are held between mid-February and early April, on specific dates arranged by the local branch.

Your MTAC teacher will supply all additional information.