Starting a Collegiate Chapter

Establishing a collegiate chapter is the first step in connecting to MTNA. All inquiries should be directed to MTNA by calling (888) 512-5278 or via email. Each prospective collegiate chapter must submit an online Collegiate Chapter Application. Upon approval by the state association and national office, your collegiate chapter will receive notification and a certificate from MTNA.

Keep in mind each institution has different requirements for the establishment of student organizations. Consult your advisor and your institution's student activities office to ensure all guidelines (i.e. financial, tax and collegiate affiliation) are met as you form your collegiate chapter.

Please note, each chapter must have at least three student members, as well as a sponsor or advisor who is an active member of the state and national associations. Students must be enrolled in a college or university to become a member of a collegiate chapter. Access the Collegiate Chapter Handbook!


Establishing a Collegiate Chapter:

  • Clear the proposed formation of a collegiate chapter with the proper authorities of the college or university.
  • Generate interest of prospective collegiate members and faculty from all instrumental and vocal areas at the institution.
  • Arrange the time, place and agenda for the organizational meeting and publicize it among the students and faculty.
  • Appoint a bylaws committee. See sample bylaws.
  • Appoint a nominating committee for collegiate chapter officers.

Sustaining a Collegiate Chapter:

  • Guide and assist collegiate officers and members with collegiate chapter activities.
  • Encourage attendance at workshops, conventions and conferences.
  • Attend state conventions and national conferences to be aware of developments of importance to collegiate chapters.
  • Encourage programs for collegiate members at state conventions and local association meetings.
  • Encourage sponsorships of on-campus events for collegiate members and their students.

The Connection: The State Collegiate Chapters Chair

The collegiate chapters chair in your state is a direct connection to the collegiate chapters, respective state MTAs and MTNA. This person:

  • Contacts the members of the state association who are currently faculty members at a college, university or conservatory to inform them of the importance of starting a collegiate chapter and asks them to contact students who might be interested in establishing a collegiate chapter
  • Provides necessary networking between the national collegiate chapters chair and all collegiate chapter advisors within the state
  • Encourages programs for collegiate members at state conventions
  • Approves establishment of new collegiate chapters in the state
  • Attends state conferences and national conferences to keep abreast of developments of importance to collegiate chapters

Sample Agenda for Organizational Meeting

  • Presiding: collegiate chapter advisor
  • Greetings from MTNA state or local officer
  • Greetings from college or university music department (dean, faculty member or other official)
  • Reading and approval of proposed bylaws
  • Presentation of slate of nominees for collegiate chapter officers
  • Election of officers
  • Announcements
  • Program

Sample Bylaws

The following sample bylaws are recommended for each collegiate chapter. However, a chapter may need to modify these bylaws to accommodate any circumstances specific to its functioning.

The requirements for membership stated in Article I, for the membership year stated in Article II and for dues stated in Article VII, Section 1, are determined by MTNA.


In compliance with the national chartered rights and obligations of Music Teachers National Association, the chapter shall be subject to the rules contained in the following chapter bylaws.

Article I - Membership

Collegiate chapter membership shall be open to all college and university students currently involved in regular music study, subject to membership regulations of the affiliated state and national associations.

Article II - Membership Year

The membership year is determined by MTNA.

Article III - Election of Officers

Section 1. The following officers shall be elected by chapter vote and shall comprise the Executive Committee: President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.

Section 2. Offices shall be open to all members.

Section 3. The election and installation of officers for the following year shall be held at the last meeting of the regular year.

Article IV - Duties of Officers

Section 1. The President presides at all meetings.

Section 2. The Vice President serves as the program chair and presides in the absence of the President.

Section 3. The Secretary keeps the minutes of all meetings.

Section 4. The Treasurer collects the annual dues and manages chapter finances.

Article V - Committees

Section 1. The Executive Committee is composed of the elected officers of the chapter and has the power to appoint other committees and committee chairs as needed. Members of committees are to be chosen by their chairs, subject to approval of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall meet prior to scheduled meetings to discuss business to be brought before the chapter.

Section 2. The Nominating Committee is composed of one member from each class or area and is appointed by the Executive Committee at the first meeting of the second school term.

Section 3. The Program Committee arranges programs for scheduled meetings.

Section 4. The Membership Committee contacts students who are interested in and eligible for membership in MTNA.

Section 5. The Bylaws Committee is activated when revisions and/or amendments to the Bylaws are needed.

Article VI - Meetings

Meetings are held at least once each term.

Article VII - Dues

Section 1. National dues are determined by MTNA. State dues are determined by the state association. Chapter dues may be added if desired.

Section 2. All dues are payable at the first meeting of the chapter. New members accepted after the first meeting may not assume full privileges of membership, including holding office and receipt of publications, until all dues are paid.

Section 3. State and national dues are to be sent to MTNA national headquarters accompanied by a completed membership application.

Article VII - Finances

Accounting procedures outlined by (college or university name) are to be followed by the chapter treasurer.

Article IX - Bylaws and Amendments

Amendments must be submitted to the chapter at a meeting prior to the one at which the vote is taken. Under unusual circumstances, amendments may be sent to the members in writing at least forty-eight (48) hours before the meeting at which the amendments are to be considered. A two-thirds vote of the members present is required for the passage of an amendment.