The music franchise prepares for an encore after major international growth in 2021
In 1979, Neil Young sang that “rock and roll can never die” and School of Rock is proving the lyric to be true year after year. The music education franchise hit multiple milestones in 2021 despite the ongoing pandemic disruptions including record-breaking international development in not one, nor two, but three overseas markets: Taiwan, South Africa and Spain – with the latter being the franchise’s first location on the European continent.
The US-based brand celebrated the opening of its 300th school, and saw a boom in student figures, rising from 22,000 to nearly 50,000, along with 34 per cent growth in average school enrolment. It broadened its curriculum to include a greater range of diversity, including Black and female artists as part of its established repertoire of iconic musicians. The year also marked the company’s expansion into retail musical instruments and accessories sales with the School of Rock GearSelect programme through partnerships with 40 of the world’s most recognisable gear brands.
The growth of School of Rock has been off the back of a tumultuous year for education across the board, showcasing the true resilience of this finely-tuned franchise. As of the second quarter of 2021, there are over 500 School of Rock locations open or in development in 15 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ireland, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, and the United States.
The School of Rock concept travels well, due to low logistical, supply chain, technological, language and operational complexity. Popular music and child enrichment is universal, and the business model allows customisation to celebrate local popular music.
“At a time when so many businesses have been disrupted, this is a particularly gratifying milestone for the School of Rock community,” said Rob Price, CEO of School of Rock.
“Reaching this scale speaks to the power of our concept and the relentless drive of our people. Few brands resonate equally in markets as different as Minneapolis and Madrid, but the School of Rock model has universal appeal.”
A musical education like no other
School of Rock’s approach to music education, The School of Rock Method, is more potent than traditional music programmes, combining private lessons with weekly ensemble practices. Students learn theory, practice, and life skills through intensive, but fun preparation for live shows in real venues.
Group learning teaches both technical and soft skills and this revolutionary approach increases retention, results and brand consideration. This revolutionary approach is so successful in its approach that School of Rock was awarded a US patent for The School of Rock Method in January, validating the company’s pedagogy as an exclusive and novel innovation.
The School of Rock Method is a strong source of differentiation and includes proprietary method books, method app, manuals and the method engine to integrate the content. The app was designed to be used by students and instructors and houses all of the exercises from the books, tools to practice the music skills at home, and allows parents to monitor the kid’s progress. The solution was recognized with the 2021 Franchise Innovation Award for Most Innovative Use of Customer-Facing Digital Tools by Franchise Update Media.
The company was also honoured to be awarded “Best Children’s Service and Education Franchise” for the Global Franchise Awards 2021. The franchise serves children as young as four years old, but also adults including grandparents who want to release their inner rock star. This core programme, combined with camps, workshops, global touring opportunities and other special events is helping School of Rock build the largest community of music creators in the world.
A proven international development model
At School of Rock, it is the strength and success of its strategic partners that makes all the difference. For this reason, finding franchisees with the right business acumen, network management expertise and local knowledge of their market and the music sector, together with School of Rock’s proven system creates a formidable partnership.
The franchise offer creates deep value with customers. Wherever there are parents who love their kids, with the resources to invest in their children’s creative growth, School of Rock can prosper. For over two decades, the brand has done this through collaboration with extraordinary franchise partners. Entrepreneurs with a passion for music, whether they’re musicians themselves or just feel deeply connected to music, find themselves drawn to this opportunity.
In fact, School of Rock was recently named to Franchise Business Review’s second annual “Culture100” list. The brands that were selected received the highest overall ratings based on 12 questions specifically focused on leadership, core values, whether they enjoy being part of the organisation, and would they recommend their franchise to others.
School of Rock is excited and passionate about its current international growth and future potential. The criteria are simple; if there is a love of rock music and a desire to learn in a group format, then there is potential for School of Rock.
The support never stops coming
From the moment a franchise agreement is signed, the School of Rock team springs into action to help create its franchisee’s personal road to success. From the real estate search to making sure new units open with a sufficient number of students, the team is at its franchisees’ disposal.
If interested entrepreneurs are looking to open a location in a UK location, or in another country, the franchise has a comprehensive process that starts months in advance of opening a location. New franchise owners participate in a kick-off call with the project manager and use a project management application to keep the school opening on track and on budget and keep clear lines of communication.
Cohort calls and sessions with the operations and I.T. teams are also part of the opening process. Master franchise partners will, in turn, learn how to build their own support strategies following the ones School of Rock have created in other countries.
The support continues after the opening. School of Rock has teams in place to help with operations, marketing and I.T., including a 24-hour help desk to address technology-related issues. After they develop plans, the company goes into execution mode, providing tools so master franchisees can chart their own progress as they build up their business, and the brand makes sure support teams are available and responsive.
School of Rock walks franchisees through every step of the process while still allowing them latitude to adjust the brand’s systems in a way that best suits their individual markets.
Regarding training, the franchise provides a training programme that equips franchisees, with or without music experience, the tools to succeed. It includes:
• On-site training in both the business and music education instruction
• Assistance in getting the school built
• A proprietary I.T. system to manage the school business
• Grand opening and continued marketing support
• Ongoing new product and programme development
• The only international franchise network of rock music education schools.
Why become a School of Rock franchisee?
• A proven business system in the form of complete strategies around sales, marketing, supportive system lesson plans, instruments, including the patented School of Rock Method
• Protected industrial and intellectual property rights
• Full knowledge and support of an experienced franchisor team from School of Rock headquarters in the US including setting up, integration, pricing strategy and marketing material. This carries all the way through from business launch to management and development of the School of Rock territory
• Know-how on being a master franchisee, promoting, managing and developing a network of unit-level franchisees in a chosen territory
• The opportunity to form part of a franchise system, including the setup of a unit level pilot franchisee in the master franchisee’s territory with School of Rock
• The expertise, experience and commitment of the highly qualified franchisor team in order to help achieve the best results
• The knowledge to successfully replicate the proven concept and success of School of Rock
• The benefit of utilizing fully developed sets of policies and procedures refined over many years thereby reducing the risk of failure
• The assurance that franchisees have a serious, knowledgeable and dedicated franchisor to oversee full training and support in all preparatory and operational aspects of the School of Rock business
• Content management information system to help manage master franchisees’ pilot school as well as the sub franchisee network
• Effective accounting packages and practices
• A system that has generated continuous positive results and unique return-on-investment since 2010
• Continuous research and development to add new rock music products to existing programmes
• A comprehensive master franchise development agreement with automatic renewal (subject to fulfilling set criteria).
School of Rock is searching for well-qualified candidates interested in acquiring the master franchise rights for their countries. Whether it be the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Japan or Singapore, among others, there is an opportunity for launching School of Rock in every community.
At a glance
Number of locations:
Location of units:
Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ireland, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, U.S.
$1.5m+ for master development, $322,000 - $521,000 for individual units.
Minimum required capital: