Like us on Facebook

Certificate of Merit

mtac logo

Certificate of Merit  provides a standard of curriculum that requires students to strive for focused musical excellence in performance, technique, ear training, sight reading/singing, and music theory.  Awards and opportunities include annual certificate, Senior Award, State Honors, Branch Honors, convention programs, and Young Artist Guild (YAG).

PDF icon Letter to Parents of CM Students from the MTAC State CM Chair

For Torrance Branch Teachers/Students/Parents
PDF icon CM Frequently asked questions (FAQ's)

2019-2020 Certificate of Merit
Important Registration Dates and Deadlines
Information for Torrance Branch Teachers/Students/Parents

October 1, 2019
CM Enrollment opens. Entering repertoire in online system opens.
October 31
11:59 PM. CM Enrollment closes.
October 1 - November 5
Parents payment period in the online system.  No late payment accepted.  Registration fees must be paid online by the students or parents by November 5,  2019 by 11:59pm.
November 12
Postmark deadline for Teachers to send the following items to the Branch CM Chair
For Torrance Branch Teachers, please submit the following to the Branch CM Chair:
1) Student List printed from the State website (
2) Signed Torrance Branch Release of Liability Form: TB Form: 001(SA)-Rev. 9/19 for each participating student whose CM level qualifies for the Branch Honors Recitals* (found on the Branch website:
3) Signed Torrance Branch Media Consent and Release Form: TB Form: 003-B17(SA)-Rev. 9/19 for the students 17 years of age and under OR TB Form: 003-B18(SA)-Rev. 9/19 for the students 18 years of age and above for each participating student whose CM level qualifies for Branch Honors Recitals* (found on the Branch website:
4) Signed CM Teacher Participation Agreement Form: TB Form: 004 (SA)-Rev. 9/19 (found on the Branch website::
January 2, 2020
Online System opens for entering student scheduling preferences for evaluation on a first-come, first-served basis. For the Torrance Branch, the preferences from which to choose are as follows:
For Winds and Strings: AM/PM, and CARPOOL REQUESTS
January 15, 2020
Deadline for entering panel students repertoire online.
Deadline for panel students to revert to non-panel status.
January 15, 2020
Entering repertoire in online system closes.

TORRANCE BRANCH MEMBERS:  Please go to "Members Only" > CM Information for Branch Members for more information and a more complete calendar of events for CM.

 About Certificate of Merit
Established in 1934 by Helen Adele Daun, the Music Teachers’ Association of California’s Certificate of Merit® program (CM) provides an educational framework for the study of piano, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, oboe, saxophone, bassoon, French horn, baritone/euphonium horn, harp, and voice. The CM program focuses on five major aspects of instrumental and vocal training: performance, technique, sight reading and/or sight singing, music theory, and aural skills which increase in difficulty as the student progresses through the program from Levels Preparatory, One through Nine, and finally, Advanced.

Upon successful completion of each CM level, the student is awarded a Certificate and receives a written performance evaluation from an MTAC CM evaluator. An MTAC Torrance Branch student may receive a Branch Honors award for exceptional performance in all areas of the CM exam. Also, an invitation to a Branch Honors Recital is extended to those students who receive Branch Honors and receive, from the evaluator, the highest possible rating on a piece or song from their performance repertoire.

CM offers additional performance opportunities to the highly motivated student. Each summer at the MTAC’s Annual State Convention, highly rated CM students can perform at the convention in a Festival Recital, Theme Recital, New Materials Recital, or Ensemble Recital. At the pinnacle of the Certificate of Merit program are the Advanced Panel Auditions for high school students, grades ten through twelve. Students travel to a central location for the Southern California Regional Panel Audition. If selected by the panel of evaluators, students move on to the State Panel Audition Finals where they may be selected to perform at the MTAC State Convention in one of two Panel Honors Recitals, at a Convention Master Class, or become a Young Artist Guild (YAG) member. New YAG members are presented at the state convention in a special performance.

In general, CM is designed for the recreational student and successful completion of Level 7 in a student’s senior year of high school is considered a fine achievement. For the dedicated student or the student who has a passion for music, Levels 8, 9, and Advanced provide a microcosm of the challenges a student may face in preparing for a career as a professional musician.

Your MTAC Torrance Branch teacher can provide you with additional information regarding the Music Teachers’ Association of California’s Certificate of Merit® program or visit the MTAC state website at

©  All Rights Reserved. Music Teachers’ Association of California Torrance Branch