Certificate of Merit® (CM) is a music study program sponsored by The Music Teachers’ Association of California® (MTAC). Initiated in 1933, 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. Today, over 30,000 students are evaluated statewide.
CM Program Goals
- To provide a systematic and comprehensive plan to develop performance skill, technique, ear training, sight reading/singing and understanding of music theory.
- To develop practical goals to help students maintain a steady and focused approach to their musical studies.
- To encourage students to strive for musical excellence.
- To create opportunities in which students may share their music with others.
- Piano has an 11-level syllabus, beginning with Preparatory Level to Advanced (or Level 10). The syllabus details specific requirements for each level.
- The teacher will decide the appropriate level for the student.
- Students work with their teachers on selected literature, technique elements, sight-reading, theory and ear training for their enrolled level.
Evaluations & Awards
- Students participate in an annual Evaluation between mid-February and April and receive a written musical performance assessment. Usually in San Francisco, the evaluations are in early March.
- Students will also complete a written theory exam, which includes an ear-training test component.
- Upon successful completion of all components of the evaluation, students receive an official MTAC CM Certificate.
- Senior medallions will be awarded to eligible high school seniors.
- Students who have applied for Convention and demonstrate exceptional skill at his or her evaluation may be selected to perform in annual MTAC State Convention Recitals.
- Students must be age 5 or older by October 31 to participate.
- Teachers register their students in the Fall.
- Registration fees are non-refundable.
For more information, please visit the MTAC website.