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 Certificate of Merit Testing  

The Music Teachers’ Association of California® (MTAC) sponsors a music study program entitled Certificate of Merit® (CM). Initiated in 1933, the CM Program now involves approximately 30,000 students annually statewide. 


The goals of the CM Program are:


  • 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.


How the CM Program Works:

  • A detailed CM Syllabus has been created and designed for each of the instruments. 

  • There are specific set requirements for each of the eleven CM levels. Your child’s teacher will decide on the level that is appropriate.

  • •   Student Registration takes place from October 1 through October 31. Your child’s teacher will register your child through our secure online registration system. Students must be age 5 or older as of October 31 (the CM Registration Deadline) to participate in the CM Program.

  • Students work with their teachers on selected literature, technique elements, sight-reading, theory and ear training for their enrolled level.

  • Registered students participate in an annual Evaluation program, which is conducted from mid-February through April throughout the state of California.

  • Based on the Evaluation, students receive a written performance assessment by a State-approved Evaluator.

  • Students will also complete a written theory exam, which includes an ear-training test component.

  • All written results and theory tests are provided to the student by their teacher after all evaluations are complete statewide.

  • 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.


I know that you and your child will benefit tremendously from this wonderful educational opportunity and experience.



CM Workshops and practice testing.

CM Evaluator

CM Evaluator

Your teacher is an experienced MTAC Evaluator.

Practice Tests

Practice Tests

Students take many practice tests during workshops.

Senior Awards

Senior Awards

Students learn music theory, sight reading and ear training.



Practice in front of groups to prepare for recitals and CM testing.

Social Time

Social Time

Piano workshops are fun for students as they prepare over time for CM testing.

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