Affiliated with
Music Teachers National Association
“…for a more musical tomorrow.”

MTNA and TMTA Certification Updates
New Face of Certification

(Effective January 1, 2010)
$200 for certification fee
$15 for yearly renewal fee

College Faculty Certification

All part-time and full time faculty will be certified by submitting a completed college faculty application from the MTNA website and the $200 fee. An administrative verification form will be sent to you to fill out and give to your music department head. You will simply renew each year with the Administrative Verification form.


  I.   Write your Teaching Philosophy. Include educational goals for your students.

 II.  Analyze 4 Teaching Pieces.

  • These will be given to you from MTNA after you register and pay the $200 fee. (Be sure you have a background in history, theory, and pedagogy BEFORE you send in the application and fee.) Answer the following questions:
  1. When introducing each of the teaching pieces to a student, what would you discuss concerning the historical era, the composer, and the compositional style?
  2. When introducing each piece, what major elements of theory would you discuss with the student? These elements could include information such as major key areas, cadence locations and types, important modulations, interesting harmonies, the form of the piece, etc.
  3. Indicate at least 4 skills that a student must possess in order to be able to successfully play each piece.
  4. Discuss how you would teach a historically and stylistically appropriate interpretation of each piece. This could include such elements as articulation, pedaling, dynamics and ornamentation.
  5. Identify 4 potential reading and/or technical difficulties in each piece and discuss how you would help the student solve these problems.
  6. Discuss where you would mark appropriate practice strategies and/or memory sections in each piece.

III. Present Your Teaching

  • Video record lesson segments with the same student and same piece. Practice recording these lessons first so you and your students are comfortable with the camera. Use a lapel microphone so there is no distortion of sound.
  1. In session 1, introduce the lesson for 15 minutes.
  2. In session 2, continue working on the piece for 15 minutes.
  3. In session 3, polish and finish the piece. These 3 lessons can be stretched over the amount of time that it takes the student to achieve a mid-point and final lesson on this piece.
  4. Give a list of the materials used in all the recorded lessons.
  5. Write a self-evaluation of each recorded lesson segment. Each self-evaluation must address at least 3 areas from a list of topics that will be given in the Teacher Profile workbook.
  6. Discuss the student’s learning modality and how you adapt the lessons to this student’s learning style. Use these websites as a guideline. ( by Susan Garcia and Spring 2008(Vol. 19, #2) “How would you teach the same music to students with different leaning styles?" by Suzanne Torkelson.
  7. Provide your goals for this student in the next 14 to 16 weeks in the areas of repertoire, theory and technique.
  8. Document how you assess the outcomes of your teaching. These can include adjudication sheets recital CD’s and programs, etc. for all of your students from the past several years.
  9. In addition to the 3 segments, on the same DVD video record your performance of 5-10 minutes of pieces that are at least an upper level intermediate or early advanced level. These pieces do not have to be memorized. Select piano literature from Level 7 or above in The Pianist Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature by Jane Magrath. Other instruments will be given performance repertoire.

IV. Share Information About Your Teaching.

  1. Describe how you encourage a positive teaching environment in your studio.
  2. Show at least 3 resources that you use to promote this positive learning environment, using photographs, DVD or VHS, studio or classroom electronic instruments, computers and software, audio/video recording equipment, incentive charts, games and art work.
  3. Describe how you use the 3 resources that you documented.

 V. Discuss Your Studio Policies and Business Ethics.

  1. Document your professional, financial and business polices. This includes your studio policy, how you conduct interviews, and a hypothetical budget.
  2. If candidates are salaried music teachers or college students, they must prepare a prototype budget for the classroom or studio.


  • If certified before 2009, you will complete your 1st renewal cycle of 5 years, then renew every year for the next 5 years. You are to accrue 3 points each year and pay $15 for the renewal fee. If certified after 2010, you will renew every year accruing 3 points yearly and paying the $15 renewal fee. You only have to list the 3 points you accrued and sign. Documentation is no longer necessary.


  • Revised 2010
  • TMTA certification is available at 4 levels: Standard Certificate, Certificate of Achievement, Certificate of Professional Advancement, and Emeritus Certificate. Permanent Certification is granted during the 10th year of renewal.

Standard Certificate

  • After MTNA certification has been granted, newly certified TMTA members will automatically receive the TMTA Standard Certificate, without fee. The Standard Certificate is valid for 10 years and is renewable as a Permanent Certificate.

Certificate of Achievement

  1. The Standard Certificate is required.
  2. The teacher has taught for at least 10 years.
  3. Evidence must be submitted that 3 of his/her students received a Superior or Excellent rating in the local chapter’s auditions during the year of renewal, or 5 different students in the last 3 years. .
  4. MTNA Certification must have been renewed for the 10th year.

Certificate of Professional Advancement

  1. All requirements for the Certificate of Achievement must be met.
  2. Evidence must be submitted that 3 of his/her students received a Superior or Excellent ratings in the local chapter’s auditions during the year of renewal, or 5 different students in the last 3 years. (One of the students must be at the early advanced level.)
  3. MTNA Certification must have been renewed for the 10th year.
  4. Evidence must be submitted that the teacher has a Master’s degree in the area of music for which certification is sought and submit 1 project of professional competence as outlined below. If one does not have a Masters degree in the area of music for which certification is sought, 3 projects of are required as outlined below.

Projects for the Certificate of Professional Advancement (must be given to the TMTA Certification Chair)

  • Performance: documentation of a recital of professional caliber.
  • Authorship: The publication of a treatise in book or pamphlet form or in any of the national journals devoted to music.
  • Compositions or editing of teaching materials

Emeritus Certification

  • TMTA certified members 65 or older are eligible. No fee is required and is granted to any MTNA member in good standing.

PERMANENT NATIONAL CERTIFICATION and PERMANENT TMTA STATE CERTIFICATION IS AVAILABLE IN THE 10TH YEAR OF RENEWAL. MTNA will notify certified members that they will have earned their Permanent Certification. MTNA certified teachers will then be able to receive their TMTA Permanent Certification in any of the following levels: Standard, Certificate of Achievement, Certificate of Professional Advancement or Emeritus.

The fee for the Permanent TMTA Certificate is $45. The TMTA Certification Chair will mail the application form for the Permanent TMTA Certificate which will then be returned to the State Certification Chair. Upon receipt of the form and fee, s/he will then receive their Permanent TMTA Certificate.