top of page

Student Motivation

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

We all need a little inspiration now and then - something to motivate us to see beyond our day-to-day routine and look forward to bigger, more rewarding outcomes in the future. A carrot, so to speak.

If you are looking for a way to motivate your child (or yourself!) to take music lessons more seriously, consider finding a teacher that is a member of the Music Teachers' Association of California. This organization has a yearly online evaluation program, called Certificate of Merit, for instruments such as Piano, Voice, Violin, Cello, Viola, Guitar, Bassoon, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Trumpet, French Horn, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, and Harp. Registration is in October each year, and the evaluations take place the following February through March.

logo for MTAC

Think of this as a “belt test” for musicians. Students participate in one of ten levels each year according to what their teacher decides is right for them. In the evaluation, students are tested on sight reading, technique, ear training, theory, and repertoire. Performance of music from different historical periods is required, and they receive constructive and encouraging feedback from highly-trained music professionals Participants that demonstrate exceptional skill in performance even have an opportunity to participate at the yearly MTAC Convention. Many students list their CM accomplishments on their college resumes, and seniors can earn a medallion for multiple years of high school participation. The CM program is also open to adult musicians.

In closing, Certificate of Merit is a system that gives students concrete artistic, technical, and scholarly goals, motivating them to excel. A trusted evaluation program since 1933, the CM program helps students develop practical goals to maintain a steady and focused approach to their musical studies.

To locate an MTAC teacher, visit and use the “find a teacher” search. There are so many positive outcomes awaiting! And if you are looking for CM instruction, reach out to Shannon Kauble (piano/voice) or Dr. Gayane Avakian (piano) through Lori Moran Music.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page