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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.

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