May 09, 2020

The Music Teachers’ Association of California® (MTAC) sponsors the music study program Certificate of Merit® (CM). The program provides a standard of curriculum that requires students to strive for focused musical excellence in performance, technique, ear training, sight reading/singing, and music theory.

Initiated in 1933, the annual statewide program involves approximately 30,000 students in piano, violin, cello, viola, flute, French horn, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, baritone/euphonium horn, voice, and harp. Students benefit tremendously from this educational opportunity. Please consult with your child’s teacher for more information regarding registration and preparation.


  • Each instrument has its own 10-level or 11-level syllabus, detailing a specific set of requirements. Teachers will decide the appropriate level for each student.
  • Students and teachers work together on level-appropriate selected literature, technique elements, sight reading, theory, and ear training.


  • Students participate in an annual Evaluation between mid-February and April and receive a written musical performance assessment.
  • Students complete a written theory exam which includes an ear training component.
  • Upon successful completion of the Evaluation, students receive an official MTAC CM Certificate for their level.
  • Senior medallions are awarded to eligible high school seniors.
  • Students demonstrating exceptional skill at his/her Evaluation may be selected to perform at annual MTAC State Convention Recitals


  • Students must be age 5 or older by October 31 to participate.
  • Teachers register their students in the Fall; only MTAC teachers who have paid their membership dues by July 31 may participate in Certificate of Merit®.
  • Registration fees are non-refundable