Certificate of Achievement



Guidelines & Information for Certificate of Achievement 2016



• To provide a systematic and comprehensive plan to develop performance skills, technique, ear training, sight-reading, and understanding of music theory.

• To develop practical goals to help students maintain steady and focused progression to their musical studies.

• To encourage students to strive for musical excellence.



Students who are enrolled in Certificate of Achievement participate in an annual evaluation.  Experienced evaluators will hear students perform selected literature, technical elements, and sight-reading. Each student will receive a written comprehensive assessment of progress.  Students will also complete a written theory exam that includes an ear-training component.


Each student will receive a certificate for successfully completing all four areas of the examination. Students can earn up to 4 points per year for successful completion of each area of the examination. When they have achieved 12 points, they will be awarded a trophy. 


The fees for participation in 2016 range from $28 to $50, depending on the level of enrollment. 


This program is similar to the California MTA Certificate of Merit. There are a few differences in our program. We have added a modified “Young Beginner” Level for those beginner students who would like to have the opportunity to be evaluated, but are not quite ready for the full program. Below you will find critical information for the coming year:


1. Syllabus—we will continue to follow the syllabus published by the California MTA. However, as we are developing our own program, do not feel that you must purchase a syllabus as our program will most likely be changing for the 2016-2017 school year. If you are a new member and would like to participate please contact Cindy Wells at bcwells@caldwellfam.net or (208) 459-4759 to borrow a copy of the syllabus to review as you prepare your students this year.


2. Repertoire—requirements will be the same as they have been in the past from the CA syllabus, including selecting a “required” piece from the list in the syllabus. Young Beginner level does not have a “required” piece list. When you register you will need the page number from the syllabus that shows the “required” piece. If a student does not perform a piece from the “required” list they will not pass the repertoire requirements and will not receive the trophy point for that portion of the program. Students are required to play two to four repertoire pieces depending on their level. In each level, two pieces have to be played from memory.  Students will not pass the level if they do not play two pieces from memory. Additionally, students in Levels Six through Advanced have a "fifth" time period to select repertoire from; "Contemporary/Popular."


3. Technique—requirements will be the same as they have been in the past from the CA syllabus. Technique is required for Young Beginner through Advanced levels. There are specific technique examples available to verify that you are teaching your students the same elements that will be given the judges. Advanced technique consists of a memorized etude.


4. Sight Reading—requirements will be the same as they have been in the past from the CA syllabus. Sight reading is required for Prep Level through Advanced. Sight Reading is not required for the Young Beginner Level.


5. Ear Training—requirements will be the same as they have been in the past from the CA syllabus, with the addition of basic dictation skills. Sample tests from 2015 will be available on the website for your perusal and use. Prep Level through Advanced will have Ear Training. Ear Training is not required for the Young Beginner Level.


6. Theory—requirements will be comparable to those in the CA syllabus. However, as we are now purchasing our tests from a different organization, sample tests from 2015 will be available online for your perusal and use. Theory tests will be required for Young Beginner through Advanced.


7. There will be no Honors Recital this year for Certificate of Achievement as there has been in the past. If students wish to participate in an Honors Recital they are welcome to check the information available online for the TVMTA Spring Honors Recital. 


Young Beginner       $28

Prep-Level 2        $32

Level 3-Level 5    $36

Level 6-Level 8    $42

Level 9-Advanced $50

Certificate of Achievement registration will be available exclusively online, with payments through Paypal. Registration will be open from January 8-January 24, 2016. 


If there are any comments, questions, or concerns please contact the 2016 Certificate of Achievement Chair, Cindy Wells at bcwells@caldwellfam.net or (208) 459-4759.


If you have a student that was registered for the original event that cannot play for the judge on the day of Certificate of Achievement or the Make Up Day (due to health issues, injury, etc) you have the option of taking "Path B" after the event is over.  The student MUST still be registered for the original event and pay those fees. The "Path B" option allows you to administer the theory test and ear training to your student.  You will grade them yourself and send the scores to the COA Chair.  You may borrow an ear training CD (after the event only).  You will hire a judge on your own to listen to and score your student on their repertoire, technique, and sight reading.  Please contact Andrea Hansen, NCTM to make arrangements for the online judging system to be set up and opened for the judge you have chosen.  There is an additional fee that is paid directly to the judge by the student for this option.  Those fees are as listed.....

​Young Beginner-Level 2 = $6.00 (12 minutes)

​Level 3-Level 5 = $10.00 (20 minutes)

​Level 6-Level 7 = $15.00 (30 minutes)

​Level 8-Level 9 = $17.50 (35 minutes)

​Advanced = $20.00 (40 minutes)

​The final deadline for "Path B" scores to be submitted is April 30, 2016.  Please contact the chair for more information if you have any questions.