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MTNA Professional Certification FAQs

What do I do first?

Complete the application form and pay the fee as directed.

Is there a time limit for becoming certified once I have sent my initial application and fee?

Yes. The MTNA Professional Certification process must be completed within a one-year time limit from the date the application is received at MTNA Headquarters. If you wish to begin early, Projects 1,3, 4, and 5 may be completed and held ready for final submission before you send in your application and fee. If the process is not completed within one year, the applicant may request, in writing, a single one-year time extension, after which an application extension fee will be assessed. (See Fee Schedule.)

I teach at a college—do I have to complete the Teacher Profile projects?

No, all full and part-time faculty at colleges and universities fill out the application and pay the fee, then your dean or supervisor will fill out and sign an Administrative Verification form and return it to MTNA headquarters.  You will be certified upon receipt of this completed form.

May college and university students apply for professional certification?

Yes—you will need to successfully complete the five Teacher Profile Projects.

Will I have to study? Are Study Guides provided?

The Teacher Profile Projects Workbook contains information on what background or preparation you should have to successfully complete the Projects. The Certification website contains suggested texts to consult in preparation for successful completion of the Projects. A document titled “What Will The Evaluators Be Looking For?” is also available on the website.

What if I need more help than just reading texts?

There are numerous online courses offered by colleges and universities for a moderate fee. These courses include work on music theory, music history, and pedagogy. These courses can be found with an Internet search, or you can talk with your State Certification Chair or National Certification Commissioner. You may also wish to work privately with a master teacher in your area to strengthen your theory, history, pedagogy, and/or performance skills.

How long will it take for me to hear if I am certified?

If you are choosing the Teacher Profile Method of Certification (all non-college faculty), you will not submit the projects and video recordings until all materials are complete. The evaluation process will not begin until all materials are received. Once the applicant’s materials are received, the packet will be sent to two National Certification Commissioners for evaluation. This evaluation process normally takes approximately eight weeks.

May I submit my video recordings digitally instead of mailing two hard copies of DVDs?

We currently are not able to accept electronic video submissions.

Can I charge more for lessons once I am certified?

MTNA Professional Certification increases the earning potential for music teachers. Make your MTNA Professional Certification known in your newsletters, studio policies and brochures. Creating awareness among families regarding professional development will help them understand your fee structure.

What do I get when I become certified?

Once you have successfully completed the Teacher Profile or (for college faculty) your dean or supervisor has submitted a completed Administrative Verification form, you will receive notification with a certificate, a copy of the Guidelines For The Renewal Of MTNA Professional Certification and a congratulatory letter from the MTNA Executive Director & CEO. In addition, you will receive a brochure titled Getting the Most Out Of MTNA Professional Certification, and you will be listed in the online MTNA Certified Teacher Directory.

If my certification is deferred, will I get a refund?

No—the time and materials required to evaluate an application are the same, whether or not the application is approved.

If my certification is not approved, will I know why?

Yes—the evaluators will provide the reasons your certification was deferred. In addition, you will be able to appeal any decision in writing first to the MTNA National Certification Commission, then to the MTNA Board of Directors.

If my certification is deferred, how long do I have to wait to reapply?

There is no minimum waiting period; however, candidates must resubmit two copies of materials and documents from the deferred project(s) in the Teacher Profile for re-evaluation within a maximum of forty-five (45) days of receiving written notification. A resubmission fee must accompany the materials and documents each time a project is resubmitted. After forty-five (45) days, the candidate’s materials and documents become delinquent.

I am certified, but I am no longer an MTNA member. Am I still certified?

Yes, but if you are not a member when you renew your certification, you will have to pay the higher nonmember renewal fee.

I have never gone to college and do not have a degree; can I still become certified?

Yes, as long as you successfully complete the Teacher Profile Projects.

I have only a few credits toward a degree; what do I have to do to become certified?

You must successfully complete the Teacher Profile Projects.

What about the transcripts, recital and verification forms that were previously required?

For all applications postmarked on or after January 1, 2010, these are no longer required. You must simply successfully complete the five Teacher Profile Projects or (for college faculty) have your dean or supervisor submit a completed Administrative Verification form.

What about the Certification Examination?

The Certification Examination is no longer available for applications postmarked beginning January 1, 2010. All independent music teacher certification is achieved by successful completion of the Teacher Profile Projects.

Who should I call if I need help?

There is a Certification chair in most local associations, a State Certification chair in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and there are seven Division Certification Commissioners who are members of the National Certification Commission. There is also a person designated at the national headquarters to answer your questions.