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.

Pasadena Branch CM Chair: Carol Man Lee

Contact info: cmpasadenamtac@gmail.com


Active/Provisional/Student/CalPlan Member Teachers enroll their students in Theory and Performance in October.


Annual written theory exam generally in March.  Schedule updates available in February.


Annual performance evaluation generally in March. Schedule updates available in February.

Branch Honors

Showcase recitals of students selected from CM Performance Evaluations . Event generally in April

Senior Award

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

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

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