What is Certificate of Merit (CM)?

CM is MTAC’s sponsored comprehensive music study program of ten levels since 1933. 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.

Students are evaluated by qualified examiners in Theory and Performance.  Students study to earn certificates of achievement, special recognition of senior students, and performance opportunities at the State Convention. The Young Artists Guild aids those seeking professional careers.


Per MTAC, Active/Provisional/Student/CalPlan Member Teachers are eligible to enroll their students in the Certificate of Merit in October.


State Honors

Are awarded by MTAC CM State Office for students who meet the following requirements:

Theory Score 80%

Technique – Excellent or Good rating

Sight reading/Sight singing – Excellent or Good rating

Repertoire – Excellent or Good rating

Memorization requirement met for the enrolled level

Senior Award

Recognition of graduating High School Senior who has fulfilled the CM requirements for the medal award. 

Young Artist Guild (YAG)

Is a group of the most gifted musicians in the CM program selected by a panel of evaluators. An accepted student member may be offered semi-professional paid performance opportunities through MTAC branch-sponsored concerts.

Convention Recitals

Evaluators select students from the annual CM Performance Evaluations to perform at  MTAC’s annual State Convention in late June/early July.


for answers to your CM questions, please visit your MTAC Teacher Portal or contact the MTAC CM State Office directly using the link found in your MTAC Teacher Portal.