Guide to MMTA

Welcome to MMTA!


MMTA Challenge Award

MMTA created the Challenge Award program to encourage and recognize student participation in all MMTA programs. It offers tangible rewards to students for the years of hard work spent developing their skills.

Students earn points for participation in MMTA programs. Teachers track the progress of their students using the record keeping sheet [LINK], and pay only for shipping of the awards. Awards include an award ribbon, bronze star pin, silver star pin, gold star pin, progressing ultimately to a Challenge Award trophy!

Since the MMTA Challenge Award’s inception, MMTA Programs have seen a steady increase in participation. Students are motivated to try new programs to achieve their goals. The Challenge Awards work!

Contests and Solo Festivals

The Piano Contest attracts thousands of students annually.  Pianists compete in preliminary and final rounds, and the performers with the highest scores participate in the Honors Concert, a gala event involving 700 young pianists on 20 grand pianos.

     100 Challenge Award Points*

The Piano Solo Festival is an option for students who are older beginners, adults, or may not want to compete but still wish to receive feedback from a judge.

     100 Challenge Award Points

Voice and Instrumental Contests encourage high performance standards for woodwinds, guitar, organ, strings and voice.  The contest culminates in a Winners Recital.

     100 Challenge Award Points*

The Voice and Instrumental Solo Festival is an option for students who are older beginners, adults, or may not want to compete but still wish to receive feedback from a judge.

     100 Challenge Award Points

The Young Artist Contest acknowledges the highest performance standards for  piano, woodwinds, guitar, organ, strings and voice.  Winners receive cash awards and performance opportunities.

     100 Challenge Award Points*

The Student Composition Contest encourage students to submit an original composition, with four competition levels based on current school grade. All students receive a Certificate of Participation, and winners in each age category receive cash awards.  The Student Composition Festival is held concurrently with the contest and is available to students who wish to experiment with composition but do not wish to compete.

     100 Challenge Award Points


*Challenge Award Points are awarded for both Preliminary and Final Rounds, as well as for the Honors Concert and Performance Festival.


Logowear Design Contest - All students are eligible to submit a design for an MMTA Logo each year.  The winning design will appear on MMTA t-shirts, tote bags and other Logowear items.  Winning designer receives a free T-shirt and tote bag with the winning design.


What are the Repertoire Requirements for Contests?

The Piano Contest & Piano Solo Festival Materials List is mailed to new and renewing members each Spring, and may also be found at the MMTA Website under Member Resources. Competitors choose one selection from the appropriate age level to be performed at both Preliminary and (if applicable) Final Rounds. Winners must advance to the next level the following year, regardless of age.

Voice and Instrumental Contest and Solo Festival competitors prepare one repertoire selection to be performed. The Materials List for each instrument is available from the MMTA Office and on the MMTA Website under Student Programs. Winners must advance to the next level the following year, regardless of age.

Young Artist Contest participants prepare a memorized solo program and compete with other students at the Junior and Senior levels.  Program time and repertoire requirements vary depending on the instrument and level. Please refer to Student Programs on the MMTA Website, or the MMTA Handbook for repertoire requirements and registration details.

Student Composition Contest entries may be written for solo instrument or an ensemble of up to 10 performers. Compositions may be single or multi movement, but no longer than 10 minutes in length.  Please refer to Student Programs on the MMTA Website, or the MMTA Handbook for repertoire requirements and registration details.


MMTA Educational Programs

Comprehensive Piano Exams combine keyboard skills, sightplaying and repertoire requirements into a single exam. Certificates are  awarded upon successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam and its corresponding Theory Exam. Cash prizes are awarded annually to the highest scoring students in Levels IV and higher.

     300 Challenge Award Points

Comprehensive Voice and Instrumental Exams encourage technical proficiency and musicianship. Certificates are awarded upon successful completion. Cash prizes are awarded annually to the highest scoring students completing higher level exams.

     300 Challenge Award Points

Theory Exams (Keyboard) develop proficiency and understanding of music theory at the keyboard through notation, ear training, analysis, transposition and harmonization.  Certificates are awarded upon successful completion.

     100 Challenge Award Points

Keyboard Skills Exams develop proficiency in scales, chords and arpeggios. Certificates are awarded upon successful completion.

     100 Challenge Award Points

Sightplaying Exams develop proficiency in keyboard sightplaying.  Certificates are awarded upon successful completion.

     100 Challenge Award Points

Popular Styles Exams have four levels of curriculum to build student competency in pop, jazz, blues and other contemporary styles.  Teacher training seminars and testing of levels 1-4 of the student syllabus are now available.  See for details.

     100 Challenge Award Points


What Study Materials do I need for MMTA Educational Programs?

All Comprehensive Piano, Instrumental and Vocal Exams have corresponding syllabi that thoroughly explain program requirements for each level. You may download these syllabi from the MMTA website at no charge  (login and click on Member Resources - Member Documents- scroll to Teacher Resource Materials.)  

Theory Exam materials support both teacher and student at each level with a Keyboard Theory Syllabus, Theory Student Workbooks (answer key included), and Theory MP3s.

Keyboard Skills Exam requirements are included in the Comprehensive Piano Exam Syllabus, which you may download at no charge from the MMTA Website (see above.)

Sightplaying Exam preparation materials include a Syllabus, Workbooks and Sample Tests.

Popular Styles Exam preparation materials include printed Student Workbooks.  Backing tracks, lead sheets, and other supplementary materials may be downloaded from the MMTA Website (see above.)

All materials are available in printed form and may be purchased at the MMTA Office; by mail; by phone; or online at store.


Artistic Opportunities

The Music Bridges program invites students to design a unique performance program. In addition to repertoire performance, a student's program may include an original composition, dance, drama or visual art.  Participants receive a certificate and written critique. Please refer to the MMTA Website or Handbook for registration and program details.

     200 Challenge Award Points

The Ensemble Festival encourages collaboration between students  including any combination of instruments and/or voice. All participants receive a Certificate of Participation and written critique. Please refer to the MMTA Website or Handbook for registration and program details.

     100 Challenge Award Points

MusicLink Play-a-thon participants collect pledges to support the MusicLink Foundation, and perform the selections of their choice at the Mall of America. Please refer to the MMTA Website or Handbook for registration and program details.

     100 Challenge Award Points

MTNA Performance and Composition Competitions recognize exceptionally talented young artists with cash prizes through competitive rounds at the state, regional and national level. Please refer to the MMTA Website or Handbook for registration and program details.



MMTA Teacher Opportunities

The Mentor Program pairs new members with an MMTA mentor. Your mentor will be a valuable resource when program preparation and registration questions arise. MMTA is committed to welcoming and supporting new membership.

Local Associations offer educational programs, and give members the opportunity to network with music teachers in their area.

MTNA Certification is encouraged and supported in several ways:

  • Rebates of up to $100 per person available to the first 20 members each year to become nationally certified.
  • Classes specific to NCTM mentoring will be available.  Tech-savvy volunteers will be available to assist with the video portion of the NTCM requirements.

Contest Workshops introduce members to the State Piano Contest Repertoire, and help teachers prepare their students for this well-loved event.

The Annual MMTA Convention offers sessions on teaching, technology, and business development. This event provides opportunities for education, performance and networking.

MMTA and MTNA Foundation Grants provide financial support for projects that will enhance the performing and teaching skills of the applicant.


MMTA Volunteer Opportunities

A group of dedicated volunteers began MMTA in 1901. Volunteerism is at the heart of all MMTA Programs.  It’s what keeps our organization strong, vibrant and growing!

The best way to take advantage of all that MMTA has to offer you and your students is to get involved in the organization itself;  You will find out how the organization works, make new friends, share teaching ideas  and establish a network of  colleagues.

When you volunteer for student programs, you have the advantage of knowing the program from behind the scenes. You are then better able to help your student participants know what to expect.   Plus, students love to see their teachers at events.  It help them realize that what they are doing  is important.

Your volunteer work as a committee member means you are taking an active part in the development and effectiveness of MMTA programs.  It could mean you are helping shape policy for MMTA that has a profound effect on the organization for years to come.

There are a great variety of volunteering tasks to choose from:  short term, long term, things you can do from home or helping at events where you will work with many other members.   If you have special interests such as  business, technology, design, or enjoy clerical work, we have a place for you!    Ask your MMTA mentor which programs or committees seem especially suited to your interests. 

Please take a few moments to complete the Volunteer Information sheet included in your packet. (Or, if you prefer, this form can be completed online at

Your contribution of time and energy makes a big difference to your organization, your students, you, and your community!  Thank you!


MTNA Benefits of Membership






How do I get started?

  • Choose a program that you think is the right fit for your student. Using the recommended MMTA materials, begin preparing your student several months in advance, and check the MMTA Website or Handbook for registration rules and deadlines.  Contact your mentor or the MMTA Office if you have preparation or registration questions.

How do I register my students for MMTA Programs?

  • You may register for most programs online. Go to and log in with your user name and password.  Then click “Register for Events.”  Accepted payment for online registrations includes Visa and MasterCard. Please refer to the Handbook or Website for program dates and registration deadlines.

Do I have to join a Local Association?

  • No, but Local Associations offer the personal guidance, support and networking that will help your business grow.

Do I need to renew my MTNA/MMTA membership annually?

  • Yes, membership must be renewed every year in April. MTNA will send you a mailed reminder, plus an email with a link to the renewal page.

How do I get my name on the Find a Teacher List?

  • Notify the MMTA Office that you wish to be placed on the Find a Teacher List. You may list contact info, degree(s), areas of specialty and your website link on the Find a Teacher search engine.

How do I find out which district I am in?

  • Contact your mentor or the MMTA Office.

Do I need to register my students in the district where I live or can I register them anywhere?

  • Students can be registered in any district regardless of your address.

Will I receive an MMTA Member Directory in the mail?

  • No.  The MMTA Directory is online under Membership.  Log in using your user name and password.  Contact the MMTA Office if you wish to receive a paper copy of the Directory.

Am I required to become certified?

  • No, MMTA does not require certification. However, do consider that NCTM certification promotes professionalism within the field and is encouraged so that teachers may show their commitment to excellence.   For more information on certification, go to

I can’t login to the MMTA website…

  • Please contact the MMTA Office if you experience difficulty logging in with your user name and password.

When can I send in registrations? When will I receive information  regarding time/place for registrations?

  • You may register for programs at any time up to the registration deadline. You will receive specific time and location information approximately one week before the event.

Do teachers need to purchase the Challenge Award ribbons, pins and trophies for their students?

  • The cost of Challenge Awards is built into MMTA programs, so you pay only for shipping.

How do I become a judge?

  • Complete and submit the MMTA Judge Application found under Member Documents at the MMTA website. The Judge Coordinator Chair will contact you to guide you through the process.

Is insurance available?

  • Not at this time.


MMTA Board of Directors

The MMTA Board of Directors works to govern the association in accordance with the needs of the members.  View the current Board and learn how each one serves the organization: