Maryliz Smith
Maryliz Smith
performance artist & musical innovator


performance artist & musical innovator


Maryliz uses music to reach inside our humanity and draw out what we always hoped was there. 

PERFORMANCES for society and community

COLLABORATIONS with innovators and changemakers

MENTORSHIP for emerging musicians


PERFORMANCES for society and community


Through an interweaving of storytelling and music, Maryliz takes us on a journey into feelings and memories, propositions and possibilities. 



Piano Conversations

This performance art series has launched conferences and transformed intimate gatherings. Each performance is customized for its audience to evoke reflection and dialogue on subjects that are often easiest to address through the arts. Support is also available for designing post-performance programming that leads the audience into dialogue, further reflection, or community action.

Repertoire for Dying / April 21, 2018

This performance will be an evening of live storytelling and music exploring true stories of intimate moments between people preparing for their death. A dialogue will follow the performance on what might be possible at the time of death if the world view claiming it to be a failure had a chance to shift.

Song of the Universe

Song of the Universe is an ensemble of musicians and narrators inviting us to view the world through the music of Maryliz Smith and the words of cosmologist Brian Swimme. The performance tells a story from 13.8 billion years ago to the present time. It marvels at the beauty in and around us, reconnects us to our interdependence with all life, opens us to the anguish and disorientation of disintegration, then guides us to the hope and promise that life-threatening dangers potentially cause living systems to evolve.


COLLABORATIONS with innovators and changemakers


Music can be a gentle disruptor of the status quo, bringing people together in new ways for new insights on how to move forward.



MUSICAL MIRRORING: For Deepening Dialogue

Maryliz facilitates courageous conversations by performing live piano improvisations at key moments in group dialogue to reflect the sentiment in the room. She then guides the group in exploring their reactions to the music as a way of reframing the context and seeing beyond its limits.

VOCAL COACHING: For Teams and Individuals

Maryliz enables groups to experience their shared vulnerability and power through facilitated group singing. This slightly unsettling yet revelatory exercise allows groups to explore their status as a team and uncover their collective voice. The same experience translates to individuals in Maryliz’s private leadership and creativity coaching.


Maryliz’s music sustains the sense of possibility that is critical for a transformative retreat or conference. Her emotive performances bridge transitions, provide an inspiring backdrop for group work, and magnify the energy of an event.


Maryliz brings a list of accomplishments to the innovation space, including co-facilitator of ELIA (Embodied Leadership, Intimacy and Artistry), supporting individuals on the edge of personal and organizational frontiers; faculty of Invitas, a program for conversational leadership; and co-founder of Callanish, revitalizing the spirit of people living with cancer.


MENTORSHIP for emerging musicians


Move beyond proficiency, unearthing your creative voice through an experience that translates to life and all instruments.


Mentoring Laine



Immersed in the natural environment of Woodside, California, students go deep within themselves to discover and embody their unique musical offering. In a learning partnership with Maryliz, they engage in improvisation, composition, reflection, journaling, and the interpretation of others' works, ultimately fortifying their self-identity and creative potential as musicians. Each mentorship is customized as a series of one to four-hour intensives.


Bachelor's and master's degrees in music performance

25+ years as a professional composer and performer

25+ years facilitating self-discovery through music

25+ years teaching piano to all ages