March 2019

Reminder ……(according to CM Policies and Procedures)

2.1 Certificate of Merit® Line of Communication
(a) Communication Procedures. In accordance with the CM Policies & Procedures, any communications, questions, or concerns regarding Certificate of Merit® (e.g. administration, operations, evaluations, training, policies or procedures), must first be directed to the student’s own teacher. Many questions and potential issues can often be resolved at this level. Any communications, questions, or concerns received that do not follow these procedures cannot be accepted, responded to, or considered by, the Branch CM Chair, CM Council, or MTAC.
(b) Inbound Communication. Questions or issues that cannot be resolved by the CM Teacher, and/or questions or issues from the CM Teacher that require a response from the Branch or State (or “inbound” communications), shall be directed as follows, and must be communicated by email only (please identify Branch and Contact Name in all emails):
(1) Parent to CM Teacher…if needed, then to –
(2) CM Branch Chair…if needed, then to –
(3) CM Council (see CM Council Roster to contact appropriate CM Council member).
(c) Outbound Communication. CM Council may contact anyone in the Line of Communication, as needed, including but not limited to the following:
(1) CM Council may contact Teachers regarding Change of Teacher issues;
(2) CM Panel Coordinators may contact Teachers regarding Panel and scheduling issues.


March 18, 2019

Dear CM teachers,

CM results are all entered. You can view the CM results for your students online.

I would like to thank all of you for your hard work and support!
Special thanks to Marina Lomtatidze who is our Food Chair for CM day. She prepared a wonderful table of food and drinks and top of it, she donated $120 for us. Thank you very much, Marina!
Also  a big thanks to Lieschen and Virginia who helped us even though they had no obligation to work. Thank you!!

Please let me know if you have any suggestions/concerns or feedback about your job or anything related to the CM day.
I will report about our CM at the Meeting on 4/1. If you can, please attend the meeting. You can pick up your Envelope (theory booklet, Performance evaluation sheet, Certificates, State honor seals) and Theory winner trophy.

Thank you! See you on 4/1.


Theory Winners List:


Prep (99%): Kyan Wiedmann

Level 1 (99%): Irene Kim

Level 2 (100%): Aditya Kiran, Megan Schmit, Elizabeth Tazyan

Level 3 (100%): Madison Lee, Maggie Nguyen

Level 4 (100%): Daniel Savluk

Level 5 (99%): Mindy Hong

Level 6 (96%): Jessica Pan

Level 7 (99%): Enni Harlan

Level 8 (98%): Brian Chu

Level 9 (99%): Oliver Harlan


Level 2 (97%): Elizabeth Tazyan

Level 3 (99%): Arthur Davtyan

Teachers: Zew Hong Lee, Cesar Corona, Aroutioun Mikaelian, Susanna Zhamkochyan, Sunyoung Lee, Nonna Ayrapetova, Marina Bykhovsky, Dr. Alan Oettinger, Dr. Cynthia Harlan, Marina Lomtatidze, Hasmik Kotelyan.

*** Remember: Convention Application Deadline is 4/15.



early MARCH 2019

Dear CM teachers,

I’d like to remind you some CM procedures.  For some of you it might be the first time participating CM. I hope it helps.

First of all, I’d like to ask all of you to be respectful and polite toward the evaluator, students and each other on our CM day. I’ve heard some complains about it. It’s a long day to everyone but we should be professional. Remember, the evaluators will also evaluate our branch.

1. Students must register at the Registration Desk (see UCLA map that I sent you). From that point, parents have to wait in front of the Registration desk area or outside of the building. Parents are NOT allowed behind the Registration Desk and any of the evaluation rooms. The parents can use the restroom located outside ONLY (court yard. See the UCLA map).
Please let the parents know before 3/16 so there is no misunderstanding.

2. After registration, students should go into the Theory room. The Theory room is located same floor as Registration Desk located. Students must use the restroom before going into the Theory room. We try to avoid students using restroom during the test in order to prevent cheating. The restrooms for students are located right in front of the Theory room.

3. Students must take Theory test and Ear Training Test in the same room. If they finish the Theory test, they need to hand out the finished test to the teachers who are working inside the Theory room and wait outside of the Theory room. There will be chairs for them.
Please make sure students don’t leave the Theory room area. A room monitor who is going to take students to the performance evaluation room can’t find the student if this student leaves the Theory room area.

3. If students didn’t finish the Theory/Ear training test when they are about to perform, the students must hand in the test booklet to the teacher who is working inside the Theory room and say “I didn’t finish the test”. Then the Theory test booklet would be placed in the pending box. After finishing performance test, the student MUST go back to the Theory room and finish it. *** Students are not allowed to place their theory test booklets in the pending or finishing section. They must hand in to the theory room monitors. Please make sure students don’t take the Theory test outside of the Theory room. If it happens, the students will receive 0 point on their Theory test.

4. When a room monitor takes the student to the performance room, student must open his/her books in order (the first measure of each line should have measure numbers. Please put a paper clip or small post it sticker and number the pieces: Write 1 for the first piece, 2 for the second piece and etc.)
*** We had 2 evaluators complained about missing measure numbers on the book last year.
Tips: Be polite to the evaluator. When a student goes into the performance room with the books, student should say “Hi” to the evaluator. After finishing, say “Thank you” to the evaluator. Dress nicely.:)

5. Evaluator would ask the student to start with Technique. When I evaluate other branch students, some students have no idea what Technique and SR means… Please make sure your students understand what they are.

Be sure not to start playing unless the evaluator tells the student to play. The evaluator needs time to write the comments. The evaluator will tell the student when to start Technique, SR and each piece.

6. After performance tests are done, the evaluator will give the book back to the student. Say “Thank you” to the evaluator and take the books and leave the room.

If the students finish Theory/Ear Training test and Performance test, they can go back to the Registration area or place where their parents are waiting.

Lunch (simple sandwich) will be served to all the teachers around 12-12:30pm. If you want, you can bring your own lunch.

Good luck to all your students!!
If you have question, let me know.

Please be on time on 3/16.  Please don’t take your job lightly. Every teacher’s job is very important on our CM day for our students.

Thank you! See you on Saturday.



February 2019

Dear CM Teachers,

I hope everyone received the CM students’ schedule and campus maps for the students/parents. Your job assignments will be sent out this week.

When you have any questions on CM, the questions must come to the CM chair. I’d like to suggest the followings:
1. First, check the CM policies and Procedures under your site.>Certificate of Merit>Resources. You will find a lots of information under ‘Resources’. Or check the CM syllabus.
2. If you can’t find the answer under CM polices or syllabus, send an E mail ONLY to the CM chair. I will try to answer within 48 hours.
3. If I, CM chair can’t answer the question, I will contact one of the CM council member to assist us. It might take more than 48 hours.

If the parents have questions, the question must directed to the student’s teacher first. Then the teacher check polices and syllabus. If the teacher can’t find the answer, write an E mail to me. Parents shouldn’t contact me or CM council directly regarding CM questions.

You can also ask CM questions to Zew Hong Lee or Dr. Alan Oettinger. When you write an E mail, please cc me so I can see the messages, too.
It’s important to me to understand what kinds of questions our branch CM teachers have so I can assist better and improve our branch CM.

***Important reminders on CM day:

***NOTE: Student must arrive at least 1 HOUR earlier than their scheduled Performance Time. If the student is in Level Prep through Level 2, drop him/her off just 1 hour earlier than the assigned performance time. The Theory evaluation room will open at 8AM. The students who are scheduled from 8:30AM to 9AM can enter the room at 8AM. The theory room will close at 5:00 PM. The students must turn in their exam by 5:00 PM. The students in Level 8~ADV should arrive and begin their test no later than 3PM in order to turn it in by 5PM.

1. Students MUST register at the Registration desk and start the Theory test first. During the Theory test, students will be called out by their name or picked up when it’s time for his/her Performance Test. Take all the belongings (EXCEPT Theory Test Booklet) and follow one of the teacher to an assigned Evaluation room.
**If the student didn’t finish the Theory test and Ear Training test when his/her name is called out, the Theory booklet MUST remain in the “Pending Section” (hand it in to one of the teacher inside the Theory room). After the Performance evaluation is done, the student MUST return to the Theory testing room and finish the test. If the students finished the Theory test and Ear Training test before the Performance evaluation, hand in the booklet to one of the teacher inside the Theory room and wait in the theory room until their names are called out.

2. Parents are NOT allowed in the testing area, including students’ restrooms, evaluation rooms and theory testing room (CM Policy section 5A #6). Parent may wait in front of the registration desk, outside in the courtyard, or elsewhere outside the music building.

3. Be on Time. If a student is late, there will be an extra fee and possibly a long waiting period. Parents should pick up their child/children at the waiting area. Please DO NOT drop your children too early or pick them up too late.

4. Students are NOT allowed to bring the cell phone, iPods, iPads, Tablets, Kindle, and Cameras into the theory room. They must leave them with their parents or at the Registration desk.

5. Students MUST bring their music books. Make sure measures are numbered on the student’s score (Only the 1st measure of each line is necessary) and put a paper clip on the first page of each piece.

6. If your student is planning to use music (Not memorized) during the evaluation, the student MUST bring 2 books (1 for Evaluator and 1 for the student).

7. DO NOT bring any photocopies of music. If an evaluator finds photocopies of music, student is automatically disqualified.

8. There will be NO RESTROOM BREAK during the theory test. Make sure the students use a restroom before they enter the Theory room. If a student needs to use a restroom during the test, the student must raise a hand and one of the teacher will escort the student.

9. The CM evaluation results will be announced to teachers and parents by online after the evaluation.


January 2019

Dear CM teachers,

1/15 is the deadline for entering the Repertoire, Convention and the Carpool option (no AM/PM option). Please don’t check the Branch Honor section since our branch will not have ‘branch honors’ from this year.

Make sure to double check if all the information is entered correctly and see if there is any missing information before 1/15.

Please advise the parents not to make any other plans on CM day, 3/16, Saturday. If they don’t show up at their scheduled time on 3/16, the student must pay an extra fee and possibly wait for several hours to take the performance exam.

While entering Repertoire, if you can’t find a piece on the list, you need to CREATE the piece. Follow the steps on the screen.

Here is an example how to enter Carpool option.
Let’s say John Doe and Jane Doe are siblings.
1. Find John’s Application ID number (not Student ID number). You may want to write down the Application ID number on a piece of paper.
2. Type John’s Application ID Number & his last name on the Jane’s Schedule Preferences, NOT John’s.

Let’s say John, Jane and Joe are siblings.
1. Do the same for John and Jane.
2. Then for Joe, find out Joe’s Application ID number.
3. Go to John’s Schedule Preference and type Joe’s Application ID number on John’s Schedule Preference.

Please don’t wait until the last minute. If it’s too close to the deadline, there may not be enough time to fix or get helped.

If you have any questions, please let me or Zewhong ( know.

Thank you.


October 2018

Dear CM teachers,

Thank you to the teachers who has attended one of the CM Mandatory Meetings of 2018. 

Thanks also to Hasmik, for offering her Burbank Studio for us. 

The teachers who attended may begin CM enrollment from 10/1. 

Here are the IC and RAL lists for the CM performance evaluation for your reference. 




Ineligible for Certificate (IC) (Pass but no Certificate):

Students shall receive an IC rating for the following:

a. Performing incorrect repertoire categories (e.g. 2 baroque pieces), or incorrect Syllabus piece (e.g.  incorrect Level)

b. Performing Technique from an incorrect Syllabus or level.

c. Advanced (Level 10) Etude is not from required Etude list as provided in the Piano Syllabus;

d. Performing any Unacceptable Repertoire.

Ineligible for Convention:

Students shall receive an “Ineligible for Convention Recitals” for the following:

a. Performance does not meet the required Convention ratings and/or theory score. (b) original music scores were not provided to the Evaluator, including a second original score if the piece was not memorized (and a third original score if a live accompanist performs).

b. Repertoire performed was not listed in the Evaluation Report Form.

c. English translation of the Title and Composer for music published in a foreign language was not provided.

d. Non-Piano (Winds, Strings, Voices): for pieces requiring accompaniment, student dose not have a  live accompanist. (This is not a new requirement, as it it listed in 8.2 and 9.4, but is being added here for clarity).

Remain at Level Rating (RAL) (Fail):

a. Weak on SR and Technique or Weak on Repertoire.

b. ADV required Étude is not memorized except Strings and Winds.

c. Refuse to attempt to perform SR excerpt.

d. Photocopy of scores except for page turning.

e. Memory requirements are not met.