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Submitting the Certification Portfolio

  • The Certification Portfolio is due no later than three months from the date the Certification Portfolio is scheduled by MTNA.
  • If you need helpful references, resources and web addresses, see page 15.
  • Certification Portfolio materials and documents must be submitted in double-spaced, plain text, Courier or New Times Roman 12-point font (except title pages), on 8.5" x 11" paper, and should not exceed what can be comfortably placed in a three-ring notebook with a spine no larger than 2.5" in width.
  • Specific presentation criteria for the Certification Portfolio include:
    •     Prepare three (3) Certification Portfolios in three-ring notebooks. Keep one notebook for your files. Mail two notebooks to: MTNA Professional Certification Services, 441 Vine St., Ste. 3100, Cincinnati, OH 45202-3004. Use “Return Receipt Requested.”
    • Use new, three-ring notebooks free of scratches, writing and stickers with a label containing the following information affixed to the front: Certification Portfolio, performance area of certification application, your name, address, phone number and e-mail address.
    • Prepare a title page with your name as page 1 of your Certification Portfolio.
    • Prepare a Table of Contents
    • Place any audio tapes/video discs in three-ring plastic pockets in order of the Table of Contents.
    • Use typed tabs designating the specific components of the Certification Portfolio.
    • Separate pages in multi-paged documents to facilitate evaluation.
    • Highlight your name in programs and documents that are not related solely to you and your experiences.
    • Place a list of references and resources used in the preparation of the materials and documents as the last entry in the Certification Portfolio.
  • Candidates may use open book, research-type development of Certification Portfolio materials and documents.
  • Certification Portfolio materials and documents must be directed to the performance area in which certification application was made.
  • Candidates for MTNA Professional Certification may submit materials and documents for the Certification Portfolio that currently are being used in their studios/classrooms or documents/materials that may be in various stages of development.
  • Collaboration with colleagues is encouraged; however, all the materials prepared and submitted as a part of your Certification Portfolio must be yours and yours alone. If a Certification Portfolio is identical to that of another candidate, both candidates may be subject to disqualification from the MTNA Certification process. Complete and sign the Verification Form on page 5, certifying that the work in the Certification Portfolio is yours and yours alone. A signed and dated copy of the Verification Form should be placed in each of the three Certification Portfolio notebooks as the next to last content entry.
  • Only repertoire by composers whose work is in the public domain may be used for the analysis (historically, harmonically and musically) of two selected and complete pieces of repertoire to be taught in the nine representative lesson plans for an elementary and above level student. Candidates must comply with the USA Copyright laws.** Complete and sign the Verification Form on page 5 verifying that the two selected pieces of repertoire are in the public domain. A signed and dated copy of the Verification Form should be placed in each of the three Certification Portfolio notebooks as the next to last content entry.
  • The MTNA Professional Certification STANDARDS are the basis for the validation and evaluation of the contents of the Certification Portfolio. A thorough understanding of the Standards is essential before beginning work on Certification Portfolio materials and documents. The Standards should be reviewed periodically during preparation and compilation.
    Certification Portfolios will not be returned. Do not submit originals of programs, brochures, promotional material, certificates, awards or letters. Photocopies are acceptable.
  • Standards II, III and IV each will receive a separate evaluation of Accepted or Not Accepted. Each of the Standards must receive an evaluation of Accepted before the entire Certification Portfolio is Accepted.
  • Candidates will be notified of Certification Portfolio evaluation results, either Accepted or Not Accepted, in approximately eight weeks from the time the Certification Portfolio notebooks are received at MTNA.

*Find a current MTNA Professional Certification Fee schedule on the MTNA Certification website at or contact MTNA at (888) 512-5278, ext. 237, or e-mail for a copy.

** See When Works Pass Into the Public Domain, Lolly Gasaway, University of North Carolina