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Certificate of Merit®

Frequently Asked Questions

Are photocopies of music allowed at evaluations?

The ONLY photocopies that are legal at evaluations are to facilitate page turning.  If a student is playing a piece that is not memorized, he or she must provide an original copy of the music for the evaluator.  CD Sheet music with the logo is permitted. Music downloaded from the internet is acceptable only if it is public domain music with a URL printed on it or has an authorization printed on it (such as from or  If an instrumental student is playing with an accompanist, the evaluator and accompanist must each have an original copy.  The copies do not need to be the same edition, but need to be legible and have measures marked.

Can I change my student’s CM level after I have already registered?

You must get permission from the CM chair to change levels.  No levels can be changed after November 15 for any reason.

If my student is ill or not available for the weekend of CM evaluations, can they be rescheduled?

There are no make-up evaluations for students who are in middle or elementary school.

If your student is in high school and has a legitimate excuse, such as a school or church activity or a family emergency, it is possible (but not guaranteed) that the CM chair will schedule a make- up evaluation.  Your student will have to pay an additional fee for the make-up evaluation.   Please check with your CM chair.

If my student misses the theory exam, can it be made up?

Theory exams must all be taken the same weekend.  Please advise your students of this policy!  There are no scheduled make up theory exams this year.

If my student fails the theory exam, can they still do the playing evaluation?

Yes, but they will not pass the level. (They will receive a Remain-at-Level)

If my student misses the theory exam, can they still do the playing evaluation?

A student who misses the theory exam will be marked as a "no show" and will not receive a certificate, but can still move on to the next level the following year.

Can my student do the evaluation at a different branch?

Only non-piano students are able to do evaluations at an alternate branch.  This must be coordinated with the instrument chair and the chair of the other branch.

If I register students and they all drop, so I have no students participating, am I responsible for my volunteer time?

Yes. The volunteer time is required for all CM teachers, even if their students opt to drop out of the evaluation.

What do I need to know about a piece that is marked with a "not" in the syllabus?

A piece that's marked with a "not" in the syllabus should not be used as a repertoire piece for the corresponding level.  However, when a piece with a "not" in the single composer list of the 2012 Piano Syllabus is also listed in an Anthology without a "not" it is OK to use for evaluation.

Other than this exception, music listed with a "not" may not be used either as a syllabus piece or as another repertoire piece.

What should I do if the student I want to register for Certificate of Merit changed teachers since he/she was last enrolled in CM?

Before registering for the student, you need to complete a Change of Teacher request form. To do this:

  • Log into your Teacher Home page. 
  • Select CM Students -> New student registration 
  • Click YES to the FIRST question
  • Fill out all the requested information.


A CCSR will complete your Change of Teacher Request within 48 hours. You can then enroll the student.

Can my student take a theory exam at a different level than the playing evaluation?


Can I receive a refund if my student decides to drop out of the CM evaluations?


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