Two articles of interest supporting Certification. Click on the title for a .pdf copy of the article. 

The MTNA Professional Certification Program exists to improve the level of professionalism within the field of music teaching. Certification helps readily identify competent teachers within the community and provides these teachers with prestige, recognition and the potential for student recruitment and increased earning power.

Sonya Szabo-Reynolds 

2016 OhioMTA Nationally Certified Teacher of the Year,

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Ohio 2016 Certified Teacher of the Year


Sonya Szabo-Reynolds, NCTM was conferred the first-ever M.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Michigan, where she also received her B.M. with High Honors in Piano Performance and was inducted into the national music honors society Pi Kappa Lambda.

Sonya is an Adjunct Professor of Piano at Xavier University in Cincinnati, where she teaches applied piano and class piano while also growing and maintaining a private studio in Miamisburg.  She was founder and director of the Xavier University Piano Preparatory Program from 1993-2002, offering group piano instruction for about one hundred children in grades K-8.

Very active in OhioMTA’s Western District (where she resides), Sonya has served as President (2012-2014) as well as Vice President-Programs and Vice President-Membership. Energized by her experience chairing the planning committee for the 2014 OhioMTA State Conference hosted by Western District and held in Wilmington, Sonya eagerly accepted her current position as Vice President-State Conferences on the OhioMTA State Executive Board. 

With her deep and varied teaching career combining college and pre-college, private lessons and class piano, Sonya cannot imagine a more satisfying and fulfilling profession, with each day bringing new challenges and new discoveries, moments of pride, and moments of joy.  She looks forward to many more years of close involvement with OhioMTA and advocacy for NCTM certification.

Certified Teacher of the Year


Each year OhioMTA selects a Certified Teacher of the Year who will serve as Ohio's nominee for the MTNA Teacher of the Year. OhioMTA teacher of the year will receive a waiver to cover registration at the annual state conference, plus lunch at the Annual Awards Brunch. The recipient of the National Award is awarded a conference package that includes airfare, two nights at the conference hotel, conference registration and two Awards Brunch tickets.

The Certification Process  validates an individual's qualifications for a specific field of professional practice. It signifies commitment to continued excellence in professional practice. In addition, it increases visibility, builds credibility, provides a goal for personal professional achievement and validates expertise. The MTNA Professional Certification program exists for teachers who teach music to students of any age level in private or group settings.


The program is based upon a set of five standards defining what a competent music teacher should know and be able to do.

  1. Professional Preparation
  2. Professional Teaching Practice
  3. Professional Business Management
  4. Professionalism and Partnerships
  5. Professional and Personal Renewal


For complete details on how to become certified or to seek out a Nationally Certified Teacher, please select NCTM