Certificate of Merit

What is Certificate of Merit (CM)?

Certificate of Merit (CM) is a stimulating educational opportunity and experience for students who study with a teacher who is a member of MTAC. Initiated in 1933, CM is sponsored and run by the MTAC and now annually involves approximately 30,000 students statewide.

Certificate of Merit outlines a detailed year-by-year curriculum of study for the successful and effective learning of a musical instrument through the publication of comprehensive syllabi (one for each instrument) and a system of yearly evaluations.

During the evaluations, experienced adjudicators hear students perform selected literature, technique elements and sightreading, and students complete a written theory exam, which includes an ear training component. Following the evaluation, students receive a comprehensive assessment of their performance.

A successful evaluation results in a certificate being given, in recognition that the student has achieved the specified requirements for the specified level (representing one year) of study.

The Certificate of Merit program in California also offers performance opportunities for outstanding student performers.

Student eligibility
Participation is limited to those studying one of the following instruments with a member of a local branch of the MTAC:

  • Keyboard
  • Violin, viola, cello
  • Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone/euphonium
  • Harp
  • Voice

Students are enrolled by their teachers, using a secure online database system, in the fall for participation in the following spring. Annual evaluations are held between mid-February and early April, on specific dates arranged by the local branch.

Your MTAC teacher will supply all additional information.