Valuable resources for Parents/Guardians to student success.  IF you have any questions, please direct your questions to your teacher. 

March 8, 2020  – Theory & Ear Training Test Day




May 29, 2020

Hi Parents,

by now, your child(ren)’s teacher should have given you the Branch CM upload dates.

Once again…..

Pasadena CM students have from June 11 – 21, 2020  11:59 p.m. to upload their CM video recording requirements.

Refer to your MTAC  May 2  email about recording guidelines.

Another MTAC email will be coming to you sometime in June with instructions how to create an Acceptd account for your student and upload links.


Reminder….Do not wait until the last minute to record the CM requirements! Students will be needing to wear performance clothes and shoes for the recording – just like the clothes and shoes he/she would wear for an in-person performance evaluation.


Best wishes to you and your students. The finish line is in sight!



May 12, 2020


While we wait to know the date deadline to upload CM performance video-recording files, DON’T WAIT to the last minute to do them.  Playing music for a recording takes practice,  time, and skill.

Your teacher should be encouraging your child to get some practice recording their music playing. Start now to record the CM requirements.


For example: a CM level 2 student will have a total of 3 video recording files for upload… for Technique, one for Repertoire #1, and one for Repertoire #2.


Practice recording in performance clothes and shoes. Students are to be dressed as if going to a live in-person evaluation as directed in the May 2  MTAC email video guidelines to parents.  You don’t want to have the best recording file that the student happens to be wearing pajamas!


If you have any CM questions, please direct them to your child’s teacher.


Thank you for encouraging your child to stay the course and finish well!



May 2, 2020

MTAC State Office sent an email to all CM Parents/students on May 2 with general guidelines for completing CM.  Information is mostly about how to prepare video-recording for Performance evaluations in video format.

There is a small mention about Theory test going online for students who still need to take the theory test.  No date has been given for either performance or theory. Your teacher will notify you when he/she receives information.

If you have questions, please ask your teacher.  Thank you for your cooperation and patience.



March 26, 2020

CM parents,

You should have received a March 26, 2020 email from MTAC State Office/State CM Council about CM update. Your teachers also know about it. This update is general in nature with no specific information yet. Your teacher will notify you at the appropriate time.




March 12, 2020

The Branch’s following CM 2020 dates are POSTPONED as directed by MTAC Executive Director until further notice.  Thank you for your patience. 

March 14 – March 15, 2020  – Piano Performance Evaluations Days

March 21, 2020 – Branch CM Theory Make Up Test Day

March 22, 2020  – Strings, Voice, Winds Performance Evaluations Day



February 21, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

Your teachers will be giving lots of information to you about the upcoming Branch CM events. Keep CM event dates open for the students’ participation. If at all possible, do NOT schedule vacation/parties/travel on the CM days.

If you have any questions, direct them to your TEACHER for answers.

Enjoy the process of learning and making music. It is a beautiful thing to have and to share.

Wishing you all the best.



February 12, 2020

With under a month to go before the annual MTAC CM exams, please continue to give plenty of encouragement your child(ren) to stay the course…

Do NOT compare your child’s musical abilities with another child’s capabilities. Music-making is a highly personal endeavor. Encourage your student to do his/her best on the music as written.  The CM Evaluator will look at/listen for how your student performs the music as the composers intended. They will NOT be rating your student against another student. Professional musicians playing the same piece of music or similar levels of music will all play it differently to a degree…because the music is a personal reflection of the written musical language.

If you have any musical background, play the music along with your student in their repertoire. It does wonders to the spirit.

You give a great gift of music education to your children by having them learn the language of music.  It is a lifetime of beauty found in the notes.



January 12, 2020

If your child(ren) will be participating in CM 2020, the Branch offers Student Recitals for performance opportunities throughout the year.

The Branch will host the next  Branch Recital on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at Church of Our Saviour in San Gabriel. This date will be an excellent opportunity to perform the CM repertoire for the audience’s enjoyment. A public performance is a great learning tool for the student…because it allows the musician to understand how preparations/practice affect our performance outcomes and success.

Contact your Teacher about having your student participate in the February 23 Branch Recital. Recital fee is $20 per student. Your Teacher must sign up your interested student before February 14.



November 13, 2019


Just a simple encouragement to all students working diligently on their music studies in preparations for CM 2020. Enjoy the process with your teacher! Enjoy the music!



October 18, 2019

If your student’s teacher has created a CM 2020 application, you should have received an email from MTAC State Office notifying you of this application.

Sign the online waiver/consent.

Verify and confirm your student’s info and participation online.

Online payment for CM fee is live now.

Payment deadline is November 5, 2019. Payment portal will CLOSE on November 5, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.

CM applications NOT PAID by deadline will be voided by the system.


October 2019

Your child’s teacher will be enrolling students for CM 2020 during this month.  Please respond to any email links from MTAC State Office or MTAC CM for timely verification of applications created and to sign the online waiver and consent form.

Your teacher only has October 1-31, 2019 to sign up your student for CM 2020.

Do not wait to the last minute to approve the CM 2020 application.



September 2019

Dear Parent,

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 27,000 students annually statewide. There are evaluation opportunities for students of Piano, Harp, Violin, Cello, Viola, Voice, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium & Tuba.

The goals of the CM Program are:

  • 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.

• A detailed CM Syllabus has been created and designed for each of the above-mentioned 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.

• The Student Application Period takes place from October 1 through October 31. Your child’s teacher will create an application for your child through our secure online system at Students must be age 5 or older as of October 31 (the CM Application Deadline) to participate in the CM Program.

• The Parent Payment Period takes place from October 1 through November 5. During this time, you can log-in to your Parent Portal at to pay for your child’s application.

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

• Enrolled 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


  • Senior medallions will be awarded to eligible high school seniors.
  • Students who have applied for Convention Recital performance 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. Please consult with your child’s teacher for more information regarding registration and preparation.



Michelle Rumley

MTAC CM State Chair


September 16, 2019

Welcome to a new year of Music study!

As you may know, Certificate of Merit  (CM) is a systematic music curriculum of Music Theory, Sight Reading, Technique, and Repertoire. CM has 11 levels Preparatory to Advanced. Each level builds on the previous level. MTAC State CM Office and the Pasadena Branch recommends all students study each level for maximum benefit. Skipping levels is generally not beneficial to the students as developing important artistry skills would be missed.  Your student’s teacher will be preparing your student to do his/her best!


In order for the teacher to create a CM Application for your student…the parent/guardian should…

1. give the correct spelling of your child(ren)’s name(s)

2. give correct school grade for each of your student(s)

3. give your email address that the teacher can send the MTAC CM link to you.


Once the parent/guardian receives the MTAC State Office email link, open the email as soon as possible to verify your student’s information and click “Confirm/Submit” Application.


When the CM Application is created, parent/guardian is able to pay the CM Fee.

Parents/Guardians, please spend a few extra moments to make sure all information is correct BEFORE the CM Fee is paid.

online payment period through the parent portal is October 1- November 5, 2019.

Note the new deadline….November 5, 2019  11:59 p.m.

No payment is accepted after November 5, 2019.



Best to a new year of successful music study!



MTAC Pasadena CM Branch Committee