The MTNA Professional Certification Program exists to improve the level of professionalism within the field of music teaching. It benefits the members of the profession itself, as well as the public who interacts with the professional. For the music teaching professional, certification provides prestige, recognition and the potential for student recruitment and increased earning power. For the public, certification helps readily identify competent music teachers in their communities.

Find a Certified Teacher Near You

The program is based upon a set of five standards defining what a competent music teacher should know and be able to do. Upon fulfillment of these standards, applicants are granted the MTNA Professional Certification credential with the designation, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM). All music teachers actively engaged in the profession are eligible for MTNA Professional Certification.

To learn more about the two-step process to becoming certified and to download a certification packet, visit mtnacertification.org.

Why be Nationally Certified?

Spring Seals, NCTM 2014 (Fort Worth MTA)

As the director of certification for TMTA, I enjoy guiding others through the certification process and helping them achieve recognition through National Certification. Certification validates piano teaching as a profession and shows your students and parents of your students that you are well-qualified to teach.  I believe that we need to demonstrate professionalism if we expect to be treated as professionals. Certification is a big step toward demonstrating professionalism.

Michael Clark, NCTM 2018 (Forum MTA)

Would I visit a dentist that wasn't certified and licensed by the appropriate authorities? Never. I don't know much about dentistry, but I know that I want someone with the right knowledge and skills looking at my teeth. Certification from the American Dental Association guarantees this. Why should music lessons be any different? Becoming a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music shows my community that I'm a dedicated and qualified professional before they ever come in for an interview. As more of us become certified, we can reshape the way society views our profession and ensure that high-quality music education continues to reach more people.


Jessica Welsh, NCTM, 2018 (Dallas MTA)

Receiving my NCTM was an important career step for me for two reasons. First, it allowed me to put my academic knowledge to the test, so to speak, and apply my education to extremely practical, real-life scenarios. This process led me to think deeply about my why behind my project submissions and analyses, as well as self-reflect on my teaching in meaningful, constructive ways. Secondly, my certification serves as a signifier to my students, their families, my local association, and my colleagues that I am committed to professional development and continual growth for the long haul! As a young teacher, I am grateful MTNA provides such a wonderful opportunity for teachers to further their education and affirm their commitment to effective pedagogy.

 Lauren Gonzales, NCTM 2018 (Abilene MTA)

National certification is a defining achievement to me as a young instructor. I feel that it is the natural goal of a teacher who wishes to distinguish themselves in a competitive private lesson market.

   Leah Matocha, NCTM 2017 (Victoria MTA)

Working toward and achieving national certification was a personal goal of mine.  I have always been one to search out and accept challenges to continue learning.  I taught public elementary music for 21 years and enjoyed it thoroughly.  It wasn’t until I was moved to high school to teach group piano that I realized my true passion was teaching piano!  As I retired from public school teaching and moved toward having my own piano studio, I became aware of the certification program.  Teaching group piano had only whetted my appetite for continuing to grow in learning the process of teaching piano.  Working toward certification in the early stages of getting my studio going made me think about what I value in teaching, my policy, the setup of my studio, and the use of manipulatives or creative approaches to teaching concepts.  It is  important to me to promote the professionalism of the piano teaching career.  Certification helps the general public to see there are standards set to raise the bar for piano teachers.  I get so excited (and a little daunted) as I continue to see all the possibilities for creativity in this profession.  I’ll never arrive at my destination; it’s a journey.  I’ve always liked the quote from the movie August Rush, “Never give up on your music.”

Stephen Hughes, NCTM 2017 (Mesquite MTA)

To quote Einstein: “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school”. The pursuit of knowledge and passion to teach piano professionally is something that should always be on the forefront of our thoughts and minds. Even after 30+ years of piano study & performance, along with 10+ years of teaching & business ownership experience, I wanted to pursue certification for a number of reasons: Increase awareness of my own teaching style; Understand my students & parents better; Highlight my weaknesses and convert them to strengths; Exemplify professionalism on all levels; Achieve the standard that MTNA has set for excellence in our field.
Becoming certified should be a goal all piano & music teachers strive for. Continuing to strive for excellence in teaching & professionalism beyond certification is now my lifetime pursuit.

 Joshua Green, NCTM 2016 (Arlington MTA)

Becoming a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music has been an important aspect of my professional life in that it is yet another opportunity to examine myself as a musician and educator. The certification standards provide a thorough list of vital skills and qualities that ought to be evident in every effective independent music educator.  The recognition of having met these national standards shows our colleagues and the community which we serve a continued commitment to excellence in the field of independent music teaching.

 Diana Lopez, NCTM 2016 (Katy MTA)

I am a life-long learner. I love to learn.  When I retired as a music teacher in the public schools and decided to open my piano studio, I realized I had much to learn about teaching piano. The MTNA Certification Program was a vehicle I used to review and reaffirm all I had learned as a Music Major.  It also gave me much needed guidance in setting up my studio from my policy, to curriculum planning, to the actual physical set up of my studio! I am still learning.  This certification requires that I continue to stay involved in my organization and that I should be continually honing my skills as an instructor of piano. For me, this means I am always striving to be the best instructor of piano I can be for my students. To quote Zoltan Kodaly, “ only the best is good enough for a child”.  

Texas Certified Teachers (as of August 1, 2018)

Abraham, Peggy 

Adams, Elisa

Aguilar, Pablo

Ajero, Mario P.

Alexander, Sarah J.

Allison, Brian

Anderson, Shirley J .

Andrus, Amy

Anthony, Linda

Anthony, Patricia

Aparicio, Dorla P.

Ash, Jessie E.

Bailey, Kara

Bain, Carolyn

Bankston, Melanie

Baxter, Elizabeth

Bearden, Laura

Beck, Ethelyn

Beck, Reva Jean

Bennett, Ronald

Bennight, Mildred

Behringer, Patrick M.

Bethel-Baldwin, Lynn Reedy

Biggs, Nicole E.

Boening, Shirley Kay

Borchardt, Christine Rode

Bradford, Mary Pinkey

Brahinsky, April A.

Bratcher, Lydia McCall

Brewer, Adeline

Brothers, Lillian Margaret

Buchanan, Martha

Burns, Mary

Butler, Roselle

Buttles, Judy

Cannon, Andrea R.

Carrell, Theresa J.

Charles, Elaine

Chee, Ann-Ping

Christensen, Lora Lynn

Clark, Michael

Clarkson-Braswell, Martha

Collins, A J

Collins, Katherine

Conner, Susan

Copeland, Nancy

Crappell, Courtney

Crawford, Teresa Lee

Crisp, Carol

Cusenbary, Susan

Davidson, Sandra Fulmer

Davis, Mary W.

Davis, Melody Talbert

Davis, Shelly A.

Dillon, Cari Meador

Docusen, Melody May Wan Wong

Domasco, Carol

Donald, L. Scott

Driver, Nancy

Duncan, Christine

Dyer, Diana

Ellis, Cindy

Eustace, Natalie

Finley, Joy S.

Fisher, Ileaine

Foreman, Jan M.

Fountain, Richard D.

Fox, Martha Lea

Frock, Scott J.

Frush, Sherry P.

Fung, Serenity

Gameiro, Doris S.

Gauger, Jan

Geffen, Susan R.

Gilmore, Amanda Roberts

Gipson, Ann Milliman

Glenn, Jr. Wilford E.

Gonzales, Lauren

Gossett, Ellen M.

Granados De La Pena, Omar

Gray, Kathleen

Gray, Vicki

Green, Joshua

Green, Marsha Kay

Greene, Jeannine

Griffin, Ruth Ann

Grossman, Natalie

Gurley, Carolyn

Gutierrez, Elizabeth C.



Hadfield, Debra S.

Halbert, Mildred T.

Hall, Nancy Kay

Hallbauer, Celinda

Ham, Donna

Harder, Lauren K.

Harms Doggett, Veronika

Harris, Cheryl Nugent

Hehn, Tena Wahrmund

Heil, Mihee Kim

Hesse, Shannon E.

Hill, Shryle A.

Hilley, Martha

Hines, Betsy

Hoffman, Jo Ann

Holland, Samuel S.

Holmes, Ruth Jane

Hong, Susan

Horton, Shearon Smith

Hsiao, Julia T.

Hughes, Holly E.

Hughes, Stephen

Hunt, Madge

Ince, Laurel

Johns, Luanne E.

Kaldor, Dianne L.

Kelly, Daniel

Kendrick, Cheryl L.

Kern, Robert Fred

Kettula, Angelina

Key, Frances

Kinkler, Lucille

Kirkpatrick, Dorothy L.

Kitzmiller, Jill A.

Klueva, Yulia

Kramer, Mina

Krystofiak, Paul

LaCour, Mary Ann W.

Landreth, Rebecca

Landrum, Kristen

Lee Hing, Amanda

Leondar, June M

Lien, Karen

Lindemulder, Laurie

Long, Priscilla

Lopez, Diana

Lowry, Kay L.

Lum-Meyer, Doris

MacDonald, Martha Frances

Marek, Olga A.

Marshall, Cheryl J.

Masinter, Thomas

Matocha, Leah

May, Rebecca Shrum

McAllister, Lesley Sisterhen

McAtee, Jennifer A.

McBee, Karen

McBrayer, Philelle

McClenahan, Sandy

McDonald, Laura

McDonald, Pat R.

McInroy, Valerie L.

Mellenbruch, Judith

Meneses-Reus, Zelda Faye

Merritt, Debra E.

Merritt, Mae

Michie, Juliana H.

Miller, Margaret

Miller, Sara

Monaghan, Carolyn

Moore, Elizabeth

Morrow, Diane

Morrow, Ruth

Moutos, Joy

Muelschen, Jean C.

Munson, Karen L.

Naismith, Beverly M.

Nassiri, Joan Wipf

Neel, Kristin

Novak, Jennifer J.

Nunn, Mary

O'Dell, Glenna

O'Dell, Julia L.

Oekerman, Rebecca





Panasik, Beverly J.

Parsons, Karen McNeill

Payne, Robbie W.

Peterson, Carol S.

Pitts, Ruth L.

Porter, Nanna W.

Potts, Cherry Harvey

Power, Eilene

Proehl, Blake

Puckett, Lauren

Rathnau, Heather

Reed, Karen

Reinhuber, Joachim

Rhine, Deborah J.

Rippe, Marolyn J.

Robbins, Mary

Roberts, Martha Blair

Robinson, Sharon

Rosemond, Madeleine C.

Rosenberger, Kyla K.

Ruediger, Laura

Russell, Alecia R.

Safi, Charlotte

Santorelli, Shari Eve

Schlaudt, Janelle

Schoellman, Ana M.

Seale, Laura G.

Seals, Spring

Shank, Dean

Sharply, Geraldine

Shih-Foreman, Be-Fong

Showalter, Jeanette

Shull, Manuela B.

Sicard, Minette M.

Skovorodina, Natalia

Smith, Dorothy Menke

Snodgrass, Sylvia H.

Southard, Athalie A.

Speelman, Sheryl

Springer, Lorene

Steinbauer, Robert

Swain, Diane

Swaizey, Peggy R.

Tamagawa, Kiyoshi

Taylor, Lisa

Taylor, Lyndol

Taylor, Sylvia

Tetreault, Catherine

Thomas, Lisa Cheryl

Toudouze, Sara

True, Carolyn

Tserng, Mei Na 

Tsui, Alice Yim

Tyrer-Ferraro, Polly Ann

Utermark, Rebecca

Van Cleave, Sharla J.

Vanatta, Libby

VanDerbur, Janice L.

Villegas, Jose

Vinarskai, Donna

Vitek, Alison

Vosburg, Erica J.

Wagnon, Theresa

Wallace, Crystal

Wallace, Elizabeth

Wang, Hsinyi

Warren, Andrea Stennett

Wells, Margaret

Wells, Thomas

Welsh, Jessica

Wester, R. Glen

Whitaker, Colby

Wilkins, Judy K.

Wilson, Echo

Wright, Etta Jean

Wu, Yuk Yee

Wylie, Roy

Yeomans, David

Young, Florence