Ken Florence

Ken F.

Brooklyn, NY
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Lesson Details

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About

Ken passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Ken delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 4+ and special needs

Teaching since:
2005

A recent transplant to the Park Slope area, I'm a composer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Raleigh, North Carolina. Prior to receiving my master's degree in composition from Mannes (The New School), I was the lead guitarist in the indie rock band Annuals. As part of this group I signed with two major record labels, appeared on national television programs such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and performed globally both on tour and at prominent festivals such as Bonnaroo, Coachella, Glastonbury (England), and Roskilde (Denmark).

I have been teaching private music lessons for twelve years, both freelance and as part of various organizations. My approach to teaching is highly dynamic—I don't use the same method with every student and I have no stylistic prejudices or an agenda to push. I approach each student as an individual, tailoring lesson plans to suit their personal goals and interests. I have experience playing and teaching an extensive range of styles including pop, rock, jazz, country, metal, and classical. One of my main goals is to foster a sense of musical understanding with every student so that they may learn to combine technical, theoretical, and aural skills into a unified whole.

Most students want to learn to play songs they know and love. To that end, I get students playing the music they want to play right from the beginning, often through personally crafted arrangements of songs/pieces of the student's choosing, specifically tailored to their current skill level. This way, technical and theoretical skills are learned through direct experience with actual music, and only very rarely through rote exercise.

For more advanced players, I offer an array of strategies designed to take your playing to the next level. I find that the most common shortcomings of advanced players are conceptual. The technical skills are there but the level of conceptual and theoretical understanding has hit a wall. Many players find themselves playing the same chord shapes, melodic patterns, and harmonic progressions over and over again. I've had much success over the years in getting advanced students out of this rut and helping open up new pathways for exploration in both improvisation and composition.

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Experience

Composer
May 2005 - Present
Kenneth M. Florence

-Work across a wide spectrum of genres and fields, from popular to classical, and from commercial to purely artistic.
-Compose for various media including film, video games, and advertising.
-Compositions and arrangements featured on both national and foreign television (and radio).
-Orchestral works performed by regional orchestras.

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Freelance Music Instructor: Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, Songwriting/Composition/Arranging
May 2005 - Present
Ken Florence Lessons

-Teach private lessons in all styles to students of all ages.
-Strong focus on development of aural skills and musical understanding in addition to technique.
-Develop strong interpersonal relationships with students and parents, tailoring lessons to suit students' individual interests and goals.

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Guitar and Piano Instructor
Jun 2014 - Jun 2015
Separk Music

-Taught private guitar and piano lessons to a small studio of 15 students in Lewisville (Winston-Salem), North Carolina.
-Same teaching practice and philosophy as above.
-Preferred instructor for special needs students.

Guitar, Piano and Theory Instructor
May 2005 - Jul 2011
Tone Zone Music

-Taught private guitar, piano, and theory lessons to a studio of about 40 students in Cary, North Carolina.
-Same teaching practice and philosophy as above.
-Preferred instructor for special needs students.

Education

Master of Music in Composition
Aug 2015 - May 2017
Mannes, The New School
Bachelor of Music in Composition
Aug 2011 - May 2015
University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Languages

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency
French
Professional Proficiency

Photos & Videos

I regularly create special arrangements like this one, tailored to students' current skill levels.
An arrangement I made for an intermediate piano student.
Photo by Ken F.

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