Welcome to the West Portland District of the Oregon Music Teachers Association

We are affiliated with the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the oldest professional organization of independent and collegiate music teachers in the United States. The West Portland District is an association of approximately 200 professional musicians.

OMTA teachers are committed to providing the highest quality of musical instruction and performance opportunities to our students. We have an excellent graded assessment Syllabus program of study that assures a well-rounded musical education in addition to recitals, festivals, and competitions through the year for our students. Our Association offers regular programs for continuing education to our members in order to offer students the very best experience in their music education.


Music experience should be rewarding and life-enriching, beginning with the first lesson. It is important that parents and students choose a professional music teacher who provides structured, individualized instruction. The relationship between a teacher and student is very special and ideally should be one that develops a love of music for a lifetime.

Questions that may help in your search:

Here are some specific questions that you may want to ask during an interview with a prospective teacher:

  1. What is your training and what teaching experience do you have?

  2. What are your goals as a teacher?

  3. What is your studio policy with regard to fees, cancellations, and make-up lessons? What other policies should I know about?

  4. What strategies do you use to motivate students?

  5. What styles of music do you teach? Classical? Jazz? Popular?

  6. Do you provide performance opportunities for students?

  7. How much time will the need to practice each day?

  8. How can I (as a parent) help my child’s progress in music?

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself, or your child:

  1. What are my goals in studying music? Some examples of goals are: to learn to read music, learn to improvise, play with others, compose music, improve sight reading, to prepare for a recital or an audition, etc.

  2. Am I willing to practice consistently? Your teacher can help you decide on an appropriate amount of time to practice each day.

  3. Am I willing to make a commitment to study for at least six months, and preferably for two years?

  4. Can I be content with gradual progress and accept the pace at which I learn music?

Summary of available Portland district sponsored student activities

Following is a brief description of annual events. Please see the calendar for specific dates during the current school year.

Syllabus Program

The OMTA Syllabus is a leveled course of study made available to each district member. It covers theory, technique, sight reading, and ear training as well as repertoire. Written comments and certificates are provided to students who participate in adjudication, in both the Fall and Spring. Syllabi have been written for piano, strings, woodwinds, and jazz piano.

Halloween Showcase

This recital is an opportunity for students to perform their seasonal choice of piece in their Halloween costumes.

Classical Festival

This is an adjudicated festival for repertoire composed during the Classical Period (1750-1820)

Baroque/Contemporary Festival

This adjudicated festival is for repertoire either from the Baroque Period (1600-1750) or the Contemporary Period (1900-the current year).

The Trula Whelan Concerto Festival

This is an adjudicated festival open to students up to 23 years of age, but not college graduates. Students play from memory with an accompanist and receive a 10-minute master class after their performance.

Romantic Festival

This is an adjudicated festival for repertoire from the Romantic Period (1820-1910).

Ensemble Festival

Ensemble Festival is an adjudicated festival allowing students to play music of all genres in a collaborative setting. Ensembles may include any combination of instruments including duos, trios, quartets, piano duets, and string quartets and trios.

Composition Celebration

The Composition Celebration is a non-competitive opportunity for students to get suggestions from a professional composer adjudicator. The event is open to students from beginner to post-college adult levels on all instruments. Compositions of any and all musical styles and instrumentation are welcome!