In addition to recitals there are adult Salons. Salons are a more intimate and less formal atmosphere. With at most four students  in a Salon there is time for conversation about the music each student is playing. Tea and conversation leads to a relaxed atmosphere.

Piano Ensemble Open House’s feature the semester long work of ensemble pianists. Each team performs at least two pieces of music that are specially arranged for five pianos. The sound is magical and the learning is powerful.


As a member of The Music Teachers’ Association of California® (MTAC), David’s students are eligible to participate in Certificate of Merit®. The MTAC created this annual music study program in 1933. Certificate of Merit® now involves approximately 30,000 students annually statewide. There are evaluation opportunities for students of Piano, Harp, Violin, Cello, Viola, Voice, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium & Tuba.


The goals of the Certificate of Merit® Program are:
•To provide a systematic and comprehensive plan to develop performance skill, technique, ear training, sight reading/singin and understanding of music theory.
•To develop practical goals to help students maintain a steady and focused approach to their musical studies.
•To encourage students to strive for musical excellence.
•To create opportunities in which students may share their music with others. Certificate of Merit® works as follows:


Certificate of Merit® works as follows:

There is a detailed Certificate of Merit® Syllabus that has been created and designed for each of the above-mentioned instruments. There are specific set requirements for each of the eleven Certificate of Merit® levels. David assigns an appropriate level and provides all of the instruction during regular private lessons over the course of an academic calendar.

The student application period is during the month of October and there is a annual fee to participate which is paid in early November. The evaluations take place in March of the following year and consist of a short performance evaluation and a written test. The performance evaluation includes two pieces, technical drills and sightreading and lasts about fifteen minutes. The written test occurs on a separate day and includes an ear training portion. David provides the curriculum as a part of the private lessons and the annual evaluations take place in March.




Whether you are performing at a recital in front of an audience or completing a performance evaluation in front of a single evaluator, Achieving a performance level of polish on any piece serves several functions in a musical education.

1. Drives the learning deeper into the nervous system.
2. Performance experience-benefits alleviating nervousness
3. Increases confidence level
4. Learning what it feels like to communicate with an audience
5. Performing by heart expands memory capacity.

The work and achievement of performance builds a feeling of “yes I can”. That confidence can spill over into other areas of one’s life.

Call David Cutter for more information.