After graduating my Masters in Clinical Psychology at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands in 2010 I decided to work as a therapist and worked in a private practice for several years. At the same time, since I also got a degree in choir conducting from the Haarlem Conservatory in the Netherlands, I was a vocalist, teacher of voice, piano and songwriting and a conductor of several choirs for over 10 years. Other projects would include music therapy at the local mental health institution where I led choirs of people with severe mental health conditions. The most recent projects were at Leiden University where I developed and taught summer courses in ‘Mindful Improvisation’ for musicians and non-musicians. Three years ago, during my last semester as a Fulbright Scholar at Berklee College of music in Boston I met pianist and composer Kenny Werner and started to work with the now Berklee Effortless Mastery Institute.
Effortless Mastery is a book by Kenny Werner for any musician who finds themselves having reached a plateau in their development. Werner, a masterful jazz pianist in his own right, uses his own life story and experiences to explore the barriers to creativity and mastery of music, and in the process reveals that “Mastery is available to everyone,” providing practical, detailed ways to move towards greater confidence and proficiency in any endeavor. Vivienne Aerts has been associated with Kenny and the newly found Berklee Effortless Mastery Institute since 2014 and has been working as a vocalist and psychologist for over 10 years. Her concept Mindful Improvisation felt so close to Werner’s teaching that he decided that she was meant to follow his footsteps and be the first created Effortless Mastery teacher.