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Why Certification?

 Dr. Laura Amoriello, Ithaca College

Our organization has a long history of excellence in teaching, maintaining the highest of standards for both ourselves and our students. MTNA Certification is a means of recognizing those achievements, and, as Certification Chair, I believe more of our members deserve this distinction. 

What are the benefits of MTNA Certification? 
•    Recognition 
Whether you are a new or experienced teacher, have earned degrees in your field or not, certification is a formal recognition of your expertise. It announces your excellence and enhances the professionalism of your studio.
•    Recruitment and Income 
Certification increases potential for both. With this professional designation, you will attract more students and therefore raise your income.
•    Public Education
When I tell folks I’m a piano teacher, I inevitably hear a story about “the lady down the street” who gave them lessons long ago. We’ve come a long way since then, and it’s our responsibility to educate our communities about our professionalism. Certification does just that. It demonstrates to students and their families that you are prepared, motivated, and will demand excellence of yourself and your students.

The certification process requires teachers to demonstrate competency in five areas. Applicants will:

  1. •    Write a teaching philosophy.

  2. •    Analyze four teaching pieces.

  3. •    Present their teaching via video.

  4. •    Describe their teaching environment.

  5. •    Discuss their business ethics and studio policies.

When I applied for certification, I remember thinking, Why not be recognized for the things I am already doing each day? As a young teacher, it boosted my confidence to join the ranks of teachers I admired both statewide and nationally who were certified, and it certainly helped as I began recruiting students for my new private studio. But certification can be helpful for teachers at any point in their career. Perhaps it can provide a formal study of pedagogy for newer teachers, or even serve as professional development for experienced teachers.

I would encourage any members who feel they would benefit from certification to contact me at I am happy to talk more about the program, provide more detailed information about requirements, and even serve as a mentor throughout the process. In the meantime, more information can be found at and

We are musicians and teachers of the highest caliber, and every day we contribute to the ever-increasing professionalism of today’s music teacher. Certification is a means of participating in that conversation. Why not let your voice be heard?

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