Why Certification?

Well, let me ask you this…

As a music teacher, do you want:

  • the courage to implement new ideas into your teaching?
  • to expand your knowledge of piano literature?
  • a clear educational philosophy?
  • an enriched knowledge of practical studio policies?
  • an inspired vision of your future as a music educator? *

*From the article, “After the Honeymoon: An MTNA Certification Story” by Linda M. Pott, NCTM


Robin Engleman, NCTM, GCMTA Certification Chair


The MTNA Professional Certification program exists to improve professionalism within the field of music teaching. Certification helps readily identify competent music teachers within the community and provides these teachers with prestige, recognition and the potential for student recruitment, as well as increased earning power.

Certification is a process that validates an individual’s qualifications for a specific field of professional practice. It demonstrates to employers, clients, and peers that which the individual knows and is able to do. It signifies commitment to continued excellence in professional practice. In addition, it increases visibility, builds credibility, provides a goal for personal professional achievement and validates expertise for the individual and to those outside the field.


The MTNA Professional Certification program exists for teachers who teach music to students of any age level in private or group settings. The program is based upon a set of five standards defining what a competent music teacher should know and be able to do.

Standard I: Professional Preparation Standard

Standard II: Professional Teaching Practice

Standard III: Professional Business Management

Standard IV: Professionalism and Partnerships

Standard V: Professional and Personal Renewal

Upon fulfillment of these first four standards, applicants are granted the MTNA Professional Certification credential with the designation, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM). The credential and designation are granted without bias, discrimination, or favoritism between MTNA members and/or nonmembers or any other arbitrary differentiation. In order to maintain the MTNA Professional Certification credential and designation, the NCTM must continue fulfilling the program’s standards through the renewal process.

The MTNA Professional Certification program is objectively administered in a uniform manner to ensure fairness, accuracy, validity and integrity. Due process for reconsideration and reinstatement is included in the program for certification candidates, renewal candidates, and for those who already hold the MTNA Professional Certification credential.