Maryliz Smith

Young Students

Music Mentoring for Young Students

  • Music, which exists across all cultures, is invaluable for children to learn as we increasingly relate to the world as a global community.
  • Methods of improvisation and innovation provide a template for being more agile and creative later in life.
  • The natural appetite and aptitude for learning music resides in each of us. Young people need guidance to truly develop their distinct artistic voice.. This guidance occurs because the desire to learn is matched with a piece a student wants to play, as contrasted with traditional methods that often impose standard pieces that kindle only a minimal amount of interest.  
  • Mastery of an instrument brings fluency. This mastery is coupled with the opportunity to learn how to compose and play one’s own music.

How it works:

The original idea for education comes from the word educere: drawing or leading out that which lies within. I begin by giving students basic musical skills for the purpose of being fluent with an instrument. That leads to inviting students to compose and improvise, wherein I give them the compositional and improvisational tools needed to draw them further into their creative selves. This, in turn, encourages students to continue mastering the musical language and the instrument, which leads them into yet another stage of playing their own compositions.

Discovering their own voice through their compositions gives students an increasing desire to continue to refine their instruments. Eventually, they find themselves becoming masters of this universal art form. Over time, the motivation to master the instrument becomes exciting, as students can express their distinct creativity. The musical language becomes their own language, allowing them to find their voice and creativity in the world around them. Students are gaining skills and sensibilities that will apply to other realms of their personal life, and future work.

I take this approach with improvisation and composition, as well, by inquiring with each student with an invitation to them to enter their imagination. One person creates a walk in the park, while another creates an epoch battle. I also give them the improvisational tools to discover their own style and voice. I take this approach with students ranging from ages 8 to 18.

I come to teaching with a deep reservoir of experience and mastery gleaned through an international concert career. Due to the breadth of my experience, I can approach my students in a manner that matches their needs, is flexible, versatile and shares my deep knowledge and experience in styles that range from classical music to contemporary jazz. I adapt my approach to align with the inherent desires and motivations each person brings to me.

Many students stay for years through a contemporary form of mentorship, and I am dedicated to a long-term approach to both mastery and pleasure of expression through music.

From my students, I ask for discipline, perseverance and regular practice. Otherwise, the investment you are making in your child is a waste of your time and money.

Check out these videos to understand the quality and variety of students who are discovering their distinct voice and artistry through this program.

Student Videos

Contact Maryliz Smith for a free consultation.

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I really believe his lessons these past few months were amazing for [our son] as he navigated difficult college decisions and the final ‘push’ his senior year. Thank you for everything.
— Donna Motluk and Will Bewley, May 2016