Certificate of Merit
Certificate of Merit is one of the state's largest and most prestigious programs dating
back to 1933. Almost 30,000 students enroll statewide in this MTAC program. I am
one of the adjudicators for the Northern California area and have had students
involved in this program since 1972.
While many students desire the challenge of preparing for Certificate of Merit, many
do not. This program demands serious practicing and dedication. In my studio, the
option to participate is always there, but it is the choice of the student and not a

Goals of Certificate of Merit:

  • To provide a systematic and comprehensive plan to develop performance skill,
    technique, ear-training and sight reading skills, and understanding of music
  • To provide practical goals to help students maintain a steady and focused
    appreciation of their musical studies
  • To encourage students to strive for musical excellence
  • To create opportunities in which students may share their music

Student Opportunities:

  • Annual evaluation covering performance, technique, ear training, sight reading,
    and written theory
  • Annual Certificate for passing all phases of the attempted level
  • Senior Medallions for graduating seniors who qualify
  • Branch honors recognition and Convention program performances
  • Convention Honors programs for Advanced-Panel students: Panel Honors
    Recitals, Master Classes and Young Artist's Guild.
Karina started lessons with me when she
was just 5 years old. She played in
numerous MTAC recitals, as well as
being honored by being selected to play
at many MTAC State Music
Conventions. Thanks to all her hard
work in CM, Karina tested out of her
first year music theory class at NYU.
Meghan has studied with me for eight years
and was able to complete the advanced level
of Certificate of Merit by skipping levels. In
the Reflections Award Program, Meghan
won in two consecutive years for her piano
compositions at the school and district level,
and was recognized at the state level. She
will major in music at  UC Santa Barbara.
She tested out of her first year music theory
David has been taking piano lessons
for years, but I was fortunate to have
taught him during his high school
years. In those years he completed
the Advanced Level of Certificate of
Merit after skipping levels to achieve
this goal by his senior year. He will
be attending UC Davis next year.
Viviana started piano with me in 2004
and completed her advanced level in
her senior year. In those years she was
selected to play for the CM Branch
Honors Festivals, the MTAC State
Convention and medaled on the
MTAC Fall Festivals. She is holding
her Senior Medal from the Sierra
Branch. She obtained a full scholarship
to Harvey Mudd College.