Alum

Vivienne Aerts

Position
Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Vivienne Aerts is a Dutch vocalist, conductor, and composer with a focus on electronics and multisensory experience design. She has been residing in New York City since 2015 where she has performed at the Blue Note Jazz Club, Jazz Standard, Metropolitan room, and Mezzrow and has shared the stage with both national and international Jazz icons such as Lee Konitz, Kenny Werner, Chris Potter, Peter Erskine, and Florian Weber. Together with her husband, who is a pastry chef, she organizes events and performances under the name Vervool using jazz, haute cuisine, and modern art. Aerts is currently working on her third album, Typuhthâng, a musical exchange with over 100 female musicians to empower female cacao farmers of Virunga State Park Congo. In 2018 she spoke at the National Fulbright conference in Mexico and recorded on Kenny Werner’s Vinyl release Church On Mars with Dave Liebman, Terri Lyne Carrington, and James Genus in 2019.

Aerts studied on a Fulbright at Berklee College of Music with renowned jazz musicians such as Danilo Pérez, Joe Lovano, and John Patitucci, among others. Before moving to America, Aerts trained as a jazz/pop choir conductor and got a bachelor's and a master's degree in clinical psychology. She worked several years as a psychologist, teacher, and conductor of several choirs as well as sang with different bands.

Currently Aerts works as a faculty member for the Berklee Effortless Mastery Institute together with artistic director Kenny Werner and has played a significant role in the development of this program since 2014. The institute focuses on principles put forth in Kenny's book Effortless Mastery and helps students reclaim their inner voice and their connection to music, allowing them to perform on the highest level.

Career Highlights
  • Recorded on Kenny Werner’s Vinyl with Dave Liebman, Terri Lynn Carrington, and James Genus for NewVelle records.
  • Released her first album Roofgarden in 2009 and her second album Polaroid, a snappy a cappella EP in 2012.
  • With Vervool's multisensory shows, she created the world’s biggest musical pastry painting in Germany for an audience of 1500 in 2018.
  • In 2019 Vervool was featured on the Japanese TV show Catch!.
  • With Vervool she created a customized show for Museum the Lakenhal Netherlands about Rembrandt, for furniture brand Moooi about their Monster Table, and a customized Mondrian show.
  • Featured at two TEDx events and at the National Fulbright conference in Mexico on creating musical soundscapes and interdisciplinary improvisation.
  • Performed at the Museum Mauritshuis in The Hague for the Royal Dutch Queen.
Awards
  • Fulbright Scholarship (2012)
  • Co Verhoog Prize (2011)
  • Zoetermeer Jazz Award (2010)
  • SENA music production grant (2020)
  • Netherland-America Foundation Cultural Grant (2021)
Education
  • Berklee College of Music, vocal performance, 2014
  • M.S., Leiden University Netherlands, clinical psychology, 2011
  • B.A., Inholland Conservatory Netherlands, choir conducting pop and jazz, 2011
  • B.S., Leiden University Netherlands, psychology, 2008
In Their Own Words

"Together with the student, we try to find their true sound. I want students to become freer and happier with themselves and their performance. Using Effortless Mastery techniques, we will find it's important to fully master their 'instrument' and become the 'instrument that plays the instrument.'"

With a background of working as a clinical psychologist, I know how to listen to my students and translate this in ways to improve their performance, and I will always find a way to 'bring out the best' in my students. In music, I have over 20 years experience of working as a teacher, performer, composer, and producer in different styles ranging from classical, songwriting, jazz, spontaneous composition, and improvisation, which I use to give my students a solid foundation to build their own artistry."