Certificate of Achievement

TVMTA 2024 Certificate of Achievement

Saturday April 6, 2024 at Idaho Music Academy

Important Event Dates

General Information for Teachers and Families



Certificate of Achievement is the gold standard when it comes to piano exams in Idaho. Students who are enrolled in Certificate of Achievement participate in an annual evaluation in April. Experienced evaluators will hear students perform selected literature, technical elements, and sight-reading. Students will also complete a written theory exam that includes an ear-training component. Each student will receive a comprehensive assessment of progress that will be printed out by their teacher. Each student will also 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 students have achieved a combined 12 points (approx. every 3 years), they will be awarded a trophy.


The fees for participation range from $35 to $60, depending on the level of enrollment.

Detailed Information for Teachers

Repertoire Level Requirements

(1 trophy point is earned if the average of performance pieces is 6 or above)

1. Repertoire Requirements:

2. Teachers will select the level and the repertoire based on varying styles and techniques. No folk songs, arrangements or hymns are allowed, but challenging hymn arrangements are allowed at Levels 6 and above.

3. Different composers for each piece must be selected. You may use the “Suggested Repertoire” list on the certificateofachievement.org website as a guideline for leveling. Other resources include Magrath's “Pianists Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature”, available for purchase online, the RCM Syllabus, a free online reference list, the California Certificate of Merit Syllabus, or the Keith Snell Repertoire books – by level.

4. All pieces selected for each student must be 'at or above' the levels represented in this list.

5. Each level will have a set time limit with the judges, and students may be asked to stop playing if they go longer than the allotted time.

6. Students may repeat a level or skip levels at the teacher's discretion.

Repertoire Selection

Students most benefit when repertoire is chosen from differing time periods and demonstrates different styles, technique and interpretive demands. This should be a teacher's goal when choosing to participate in this program, although it is understood that on rare occasions a teacher may choose to work outside these parameters. Differing time periods is not an enforced rule. Again, no folk songs, arrangements or hymns (advanced hymn arrangements acceptable at upper levels as long as they are of appropriate difficulty). The 5 different time periods we use at TVMTA are as follows:

If you are not sure which time period a composer belongs to, here is a valuable resource provided by MTNA: https://www.mtna.org/downloads/Engage/ComposerClassifications.pdf

Feel free to reach out to the Chairman with questions.

Technical Requirements

Please email the Chairman for this year's Technical Requirements. We will not be using the Technical Requirements on the certificateofachievement.org website. Technical Requirements including the Etude on Level 10 must be memorized.

Theory Requirements


Theory requirements can be found on the certificateofachievement.org website under the syllabus for each level.

It is strongly suggested that teachers choose one of the following workbooks to help adequately prepare students for the theory exams:

Keith Snell “Fundamentals of Piano Theory” books levels P-10

Julie Johnson “Basics of Keyboard Theory” books levels P-AP

For Young Beginner Level Students, have students be prepared to:


Students will be given 2 minutes to study the example without playing it, and will then be evaluated on one performance of the example. Please see the Sightreading Rubric available on this website for more specific grading information.

Sightreading examples for each level can be found on the certificateofachievement.org website. Other suggested resources to help students prepare:

It is suggested that teachers begin a “dry run” of the sightreading exam starting the beginning of every lesson from Jan-April. Give a new example to the student, 2 min. to study, and then state a probable score to the student for feedback.

Ear Training

Most students pass the ear training exam without any additional study beyond what is already happening in the lesson. Ear training scores (about 10 total points) are combined with the Theory Exam score (from 60-100 points) for an aggregate total score.

For extra practice, suggested resources include:


Important Event Dates


Certificate of Achievement will be exclusively online registration with payments through PayPal or via a check to our Treasurer. No late registrations will be accepted. There are no refunds for cancellations.

2024 Participation Options

Students will have 2 options this year for participation:

1. Live, in person adjudication with a judge at Idaho Music Academy for Sight-Reading, Technique, and Repertoire; Theory and Ear Training (“Aural Skills”) to be administered by teachers to their own students.

2. Virtual Adjudication for Technique, Repertoire, and Sight-Reading.

If there are any comments, questions, or concerns please contact...

Suzy Clive

Certificate of Achievement Chair