Programs and Festivals

The Royal Conservatory Certificate Exam Program

The Royal Conservatory Certificate Exam Program provides a recognized national standard of musical success through an effectively sequenced course of study from beginner to advanced levels. The Certificate Exam Program inspires excellence through individual student assessments and allows students to celebrate accomplishment and track their progress with others across the country. It also supports teachers with high-quality and innovative resources. Join the growing community of teachers, students, and families who are discovering the benefits of The Certificate Exam Program as it enriches their lives. For more information, please visit The Royal Conservatory website.

MTAC Certificate of Merit

The Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) sponsors the music study program Certificate of Merit (CM). The program provides a standard of curriculum that requires students to strive for focused musical excellence in performance, technique, ear training, sight reading/singing, and music theory.
Initiated in 1933, the annual statewide program involves approximately 30,000 students in piano, violin, cello, viola, flute, French horn, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, baritone/euphonium horn, voice, and harp. Students benefit tremendously from this educational opportunity.


Each instrument has its own 10-level or 11-level syllabus, detailing a specific set of requirements. Your teacher will decide the appropriate level for your child.
Student and teacher work together on level-appropriate selected literature, technique elements, sight reading, theory, and ear training.


  • Students participate in an annual Evaluation in March and receive a written musical performance assessment.
  • Students complete a written theory exam which includes an ear training component.
  • Upon successful completion of the Evaluation, students receive an official MTAC CM Certificate for their level.
  • Senior medallions are awarded to eligible high school seniors.
  • Students demonstrating exceptional skill at his/her Evaluation may be selected to perform at annual MTAC State Convention Recitals.


  • Students must be age 5 or older by October 31st to participate.
  • Registration opens on October 1st and closes on October 31st.

MTAC Composers Today

Composers Today is an annual MTAC-sponsored program that encourages creativity through composition and improvisation. Through statewide projects and events and the six levels of curriculum, students are able to develop total musicianship skills, have access to professional feedback, and be awarded for their musical creations. Composers Today offers four annual projects, each with its own performance event.

EVALUATIONS | Composers of all ages, including students and teachers, submit a recording of their original composition, and receive written constructive comments and ratings from two professional evaluators. Based on ratings of the submitted recordings, compositions are selected for performance at one of several Symposium Recitals at the annual State Convention.

STATE CONTEST | Students compete in eight age divisions in Composition or Film Scoring. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Composition winners and 1st place Film Scoring winners each perform their composition—or have someone perform for them—at State Convention where they receive certificates and cash prizes.

YOUNG COMPOSERS GUILD (YCG) | Students whose work was performed at State Convention—at least once during their high school years—may apply for Guild membership. The Guild is for serious young composers who plan to pursue music composition as a career.

SENIOR MEDALLION | Students who have entered three different compositions during their high school years, and who have performed at a Composers Today recital at State Convention, are awarded a coveted Senior Medallion.

Southern California Jr. Bach Festival

Established in 1961 by Madame Alice Ehlers of the University of Southern California, The Southern California Junior Bach Festival was founded to stimulate interest in and appreciation for the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. Through the annual presentation of students in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival, the organization maintains high performance standards and interpretation of J.S. Bach’s music. Held in the early Spring, qualified students participate in the Santa Clarita MTAC branch festival. Winners are eligible to continue on in the regional festival held in Ventura and Complete Works held in Santa Barbara.