Certificate Programs

The International School of Music offers a variety of diploma and certificate programs to its students. These programs have been crafted to meet the needs of all students at all skill levels. They are for students who want to deepen their musical involvement and education and attain an especially high standard of performance and participation. These comprehensive music curriculum provide an invaluable opportunity for students to give a formal presentation of their prepared repertoire, technical exercises, and musicianship in front of adjudicators. In addition to national and international programs, ISM has created its own evaluation program which is available for musicians of all ages.

ISM Performance Evaluation Program

This program is designed so that all of our students can participate-- from beginner through advanced levels. Teachers and students can choose from either the Performance Evaluation or the Performance Certificate. Syllabi were written especially for ISM and its students by our own faculty members and reflect an increasing breadth of knowledge and ability on behalf of the student. Each Evaluation Track is broken down into simple, accessible levels. The piano, strings, guitar, and percussion tracks contain fourteen levels. For voice, brass, and woodwinds, which tend to start at a later age, there are ten levels. Performance evaluations provide an invaluable opportunity for students to give a formal presentation of their prepared repertoire, technical exercises and musicianship in front of the faculty. Students receive a written evaluation of their performance.

ISM Young Performers (College Preparatory)

This program is designed to provide a well-rounded music education for a select group of the most talented and highly motivated instrumentalists who are interested in intensive pre-professional training. Students are expected to demonstrate the commitment and skills required to complete the program. Components include twice weekly private instruction, successful completion of the ABRSM theory levels, participation in ensembles, performances in recitals, and performance evaluations. The program encourages growth of the total music student and provides recognition of a student's studies and accomplishments. Admission to this program is by application and
auditions held in September. To apply please contact our office at info@ismw.org.

National Piano Guild

The National Piano Guild is one of the most important divisions of the American College of Musicians. The primary function of the National Piano Guild Auditions is to establish defined goals and awards for piano students of all levels and grades--goals for the earliest beginner as well as the artistic adult. These goals prevent aimless drifting, give music study definite direction and provide a way to measure progress. All piano students have a yearly opportunity to attain these goals through non-competitive adjudication in the annual audition. Auditions are private with well-qualified musicians serving as judges. Students are judged on individual merit in the areas of accuracy, continuity, phrasing, pedaling, dynamics, rhythm, tempo, tone, interpretation, style, and technique.

Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM exams)

ISM prepares advanced students for examination by the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music based in the United Kingdom. Internationally recognized as a gold standard in music education, this rigorous program incorporates graded level examinations in both practical (performance) and theory concentrations from beginner level through college diploma. This program is highly recommended for serious students of music as well as international families. Students who participate are required to take lessons in their primary instrument and theory.

American String Teachers Association

Similar to the National Piano Guild Auditions, ASTA Examinations are organized by one of America's largest music instructor organizations. Examinations are held annually and include violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, and harp. Judges are appointed by ASTA and ratings are awarded based on standard musical criteria.

Competitions & Festivals

ISM students have distinguished themselves on numerous occasions in recitals and festivals as well as in solo, concerto, and chamber music competitions. Students are also encouraged to participate in community events as often as possible.

For more information about these programs call 301.365.5888


  • Engaging, creative & fun lessons
  • Over 100 nurturing, experienced world-class instructors
  • Choose from classical, jazz, pop, rock, folk, etc.
  • Lessons in all instruments & voice for all ages & levels
  • Customized lessons for your individual musical goals
  • Fun performance opportunities
  • Optional Certificate preparations
  • Charting students' progress through written evaluations
  • Convenient & flexible lesson times to fit your busy schedule
  • Ability to schedule family members simultaneously
  • Free professional concert series
  • Program Coordinators available to guide you & assist you
  • Ensembles & band opportunities
  • Professional accompanist provided for students