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Certificate of Merit®

The Music Teachers’ Association of California® 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.


  • 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.

Congratulations to all the students who made the CM Senior Award and Branch Honors list for CM 2020! 


Thank you to all the CM teachers who have worked hard to guide our students through the many unexpected challenges caused by the pandemic this year.  Although we won't be able to get together for a Branch Honors Recital as we did before, we like to recognize the hard work and achievement earned by these students and encourage all to keep sharing music in as many ways as possible.  

Congratulations to you all! 

Click here for the students who made the CM Senior Award and Branch Honors list for CM 2020.  

 2020-2021 Certificate of Merit program will be held virtually.

Click here for the latest information


​​© 2018 Music Teachers' Association of California®, Alameda County East Branch