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Bach to Rock Music School Franchise

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We’re Dramatically Changing the Way Kids Learn to Play Music

Bach to Rock is a rapidly growing franchise in one of the hottest and most stable industries in franchising: music education. According to a recent Gallup survey by the National Association of Music Merchants "interest in playing music is at an all-time high."

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At Bach to Rock we help you take advantage of high demand by eliminating what kids hate about music lessons and incorporating more of what they want. We’re the music school kids would design for themselves if they could and we’ve turned music into a group sport. As soon as students grasp the basics of an instrument, we place them in a band so they learn to play music with other students on complementary instruments. From rock to jazz to opera, strings and chorus, our students play together in just about every musical genre.

Our schools are busy community centers and bustling profit centers. What’s our secret? We know that students are much more motivated to learn when they’re playing the music they want to play and are surrounded by bandmates. On average, our kids take lessons for more than 70 weeks, which can cost several thousand dollars. This outpaces what we believe is the typical 20-24 weeks a child sticks with traditional lessons.

Great Franchise for Investors and Multi-Unit Owners

Bach to Rock is looking for investors with a net worth of $500,000 and a minimum liquidity of $100,000. Our initial investment is $382,000 to $534,100. The Bach to Rock business model is suited for the music lover who’s passionate about enriching his or her community and helping educate children. It also is ideal for the experienced investor who appreciates a great service retail model and the revenue potential of opening several units. Our parent company owns a chain of schools, which proves the business is profitable and scalable. Bach to Rock envisions opening 500 schools across the nation over the next decade as we take the lead in this unique approach to music instruction. Prime territories are still available for development, and the industry is starting to take notice of the niche we’re carving out in this increasingly important market.

How Much Money Can I Make?

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Bach to Rock schools show strong margins, attractive returns and several forms of recurring revenue. Our highest-revenue school in 2013, the latest year for which figures are available, took in almost $1 million. On average in 2013, our Bach to Rock corporate locations netted $712,475, according to Item 19 of our 2013 Franchise Disclosure Document. The average EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization) before rent was $281,109.

Several Ways to Drive Profit:
Bach to Rock’s business model has proven its profitability many times over. One reason: We’ve created effective ways to generate ongoing multiple streams of revenue. Our model ensures that franchisees can maximize their earnings potential and stay busy throughout the year. We also serve a wider age range than other franchised music schools, including adults. Here are some of the ways our schools make money:

  • Private lessons. Before students get into ensembles, they typically sign up for some one-on-one instruction.
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  • Band lessons. The most appealing part of the Bach to Rock instruction method is also a money-maker, since many parents are eager to sign up their kids for an opportunity to perform with a band in public.
  • Summer camps. This is how it all began for Bach to Rock, and limited-engagement summer sessions are a very popular way to introduce kids to everything our schools have to offer.
  • Parties and corporate events. Bach to Rock events are popular with all ages — from first-graders to 50-year-olds. Our events can be customized for birthdays, anniversaries, corporate team-building events and more. One of our most requested events, the Karaoke Birthday Party, brings people of all ages into our recording studio.
  • Recording studio. Local bands take advantage of our full-scale 16-channel recording studio, where students also record their music. Bands often come in the mornings, before Bach to Rock classes are underway, and after lessons are over in the evenings.

Bach to Rock’s Investment and Leadership Team

In 2002, former middle-school music teacher and Juilliard-trained musician felt something was missing from classroom music education. So he started a unique summer camp. His idea was to let kids learn the music they loved, let them play with their peers and let them perform. The Bethesda, MD, summer camps grew in popularity, and he eventually opened a school. An executive with Cambridge Information Group (CIG), Bach to Rock’s parent company, discovered us when his own son attended the Bethesda school and had a rewarding experience. He saw an opportunity to provide the same transformational music education experience on a much broader scale. Bach 2 Rock 03

Bach to Rock was born in 2007. We opened a second school in Gaithersburg, MD, the same year. We soon opened Bach to Rock schools in McLean, Leesburg, Chantilly and Herndon — all in Virginia. By 2010, combined gross sales for our schools topped $3 million. We sold the first Bach to Rock franchise in 2012 and have been growing ever since.

Brian Gross is President of Bach to Rock, a position he has held since 2011. Like Bach to Rock’s entire executive team, Brian is a passionate lover of music and a fervent supporter of music education. Brian previously served as president of Rileyroos, a children’s footwear company, and he also was the general manager of Barton-Cotton Inc., a direct marketing and print production company.

Industry Recognition

  • Fastest Growing Companies, “Inc.” magazine, 2011, 2012, 2013. Bach to Rock continued adding schools to our roster for quadruple-digit growth, and we are working on a nationwide expansion plan in 2014.
  • Franchise Gator Top 100 franchises, 2014. Franchise Gator recognizes franchises that are expanding and are considered smart investments.
  • No. 66 out of the Top 100 Education Companies, “Inc.” magazine, 2013. Our dramatically different approach to education pays off. This list is based on revenue growth from 2009 to 2012.
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  • No. 1 Fastest-Growing Company to Watch, 2012, Washington Business Journal. Readers correctly predicted that Bach to Rock would debut at the No. 1 spot because of our phenomenal early growth rate.
  • Best Music Instruction for Families, 2012, “Washington Family Magazine.” Bach to Rock was honored to be included in this ranking, based on a survey of Washington, D.C.-area readers.
  • Top 10 Franchises, “Inc.” magazine, 2011. Our 1,000% growth rate over the three years from 2007 to 2010 earned Bach to Rock the No. 4 spot on this prestigious ranking.

Bach to Rock Music School Franchise is currently accepting inquiries from the following states: Wyoming, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington, Vermont, Virginia, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio, New York, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Nebraska, North Dakota, North Carolina, Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Iowa, Hawaii, Georgia, Florida, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Colorado, California, Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, Alaska.

Interested parties should have at least $100,000 in liquid capital to invest.

Q&A with Angela Sakell, VP of Marketing at Bach to Rock

We recently sat down with Angela Sakell, VP of Marketing at Bach to Rock, to talk about her company's franchise opportunity and how they differentiate themselves from others in the market.

How was Bach to Rock originally conceived and started?

Founded in 2007, Bach to Rock (B2R) is the product of music teacher and school founder Jeff Levin's innovative teaching methods, and CEO/President Brian Gross' business branding expertise. Gross' company, Cambridge Information Group, acquired the music school in Bethesda, MD, from Levin, and the group worked together to build off the existing curriculum to create a professionally branded and commercialized business.

What was your original vision for your company? How has that changed over time?

Bach to Rock is no ordinary music school. It is modeled off of learning to play a sport like soccer, baseball or football. Just like learning to play a sport combines individual skills practice with playing games as a team, we combine individual lessons with playing in a band or ensemble. We believe learning to play and sing music should be fun, not drudgery, and that students learn best when they join together to play the music they love. This philosophy has not changed.

What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?

Drive. A franchisee must be motivated to succeed. No music experience is necessary to own a Bach to Rock franchise, but must have a passion to succeed.

Why should someone choose your franchise over other similar franchises?

B2R differs from other music schools in its aggressive programming, extensive genres and age of students. Most music schools cater to a particular niche or age group, however B2R's diversity means a broader revenue stream. Last year, B2R rolled out a movement "Mommy and Me" program for children between the ages of six months and three years called "Rock n Roll." B2R has also expanded by opening two schools dedicated to DJ instruction.  

What makes the music education industry attractive?

Consumption of music is at an all-time high. From television shows like American Idol, The Voice and Glee, to iTunes, to video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, America's more addicted to music than ever before. And Bach to Rock is poised to meet this growing demand. In addition, reductions to public school arts budgets, coupled with kids' desire for musical instruction in popular genres, are driving the rapid adoption of new, innovative music education resources such as Bach to Rock. In fact, private lessons are now the number one way for students to learn to play an instrument, overtaking school lessons in the past few years.

What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?

We seek leaders with strong management or business backgrounds. Music experience or ability is NOT necessary. A desire to succeed and have fun while doing it is. You will hire musicians to be your "Subject matter experts."

What do your franchise fees and royalties cover?

Fees cover three multi-day training sessions preparing you for ownership, operations, staffing and management, extensive curriculum for ease in managing your workforce, a state-of-the art IT system to maximize your revenue and step-by-step support to get you open as quickly and efficiently as possible. Royalties cover ongoing program development, operational, marketing and IT support throughout the lifetime of the franchise to maximize your business.

How do territories work for your franchisees?

Territories are based on a particular area surrounding the school. The size of the territory will vary from franchise to franchise, but will typically include approximately 5,000 to 15,000 households with children and with a median family income of $75,000 or more within a three to five mile radius of the school and/or an approximate 15 minute drive from a customer's home to the school.

Why has your franchise model been successful?

We teach music instruction to children of all ages and based on a couple of very logical but innovative principles. These are summed up by our belief that students learn best when they join together to play the music they like the most. So the core of our method is to place students in small bands of four to six players, creating a powerful bonding based on social and musical interaction. This is coupled with an opportunity to play music that is meaningful today and for which kids get significant peer recognition and social credit

Where do you see Bach to Rock in 5 years and 10 years?

We expect to be a national brand with 500+ units in the next 5 to 10 years.

What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?

Be true to the Bach to Rock model and follow the recipe for success. Our team is totally dedicated to your success and will provide you with every tool necessary to help you achieve this goal.   

What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise?

We are in this together. Although it may sound clich our success as a franchisor solely depends on the success of our owners. What they are investing in among other things is our knowledge and experience which we have codified in a comprehensive operations manual and training program designed to share that knowledge with each owner.    

Can you explain your financial assistance?

Bach to Rock is a SBA approved franchise. Third party financing is available to qualified candidates.

On average, how long does it take to open a new Bach to Rock location?

A franchise should expect to open a school within 4-6 months of signing the franchise agreement.

What was your background and experience before founding this franchise?

Founded in 2007, Bach to Rock is the product of music teacher and school founder Jeff Levin's innovative teaching methods, and CEO/President Brian Gross' business branding expertise. Gross' company, Cambridge Information Group, acquired the music school in Bethesda, MD, from Levin, and the group worked together to build off the existing curriculum to create a professionally branded and commercialized business.

Do you have any franchisee testimonials or success stories that you would like to share?

"Our first Bach to Rock school in Port Washington has experienced phenomenal success, exceeding our expectations. This is accelerating our expansion plans, so we're aiming to open two additional schools in 2014," said Glenn Fleischman, co-founder and Managing Partner of Amplified Capital Partners. "There's a strong demand for what we offer, especially as local school districts continue to cut their arts budgets and reduce or eliminate their music programs. We want to keep growing the chain in New York and Connecticut well beyond the six schools we initially plan to open", said Alan Goodstadt, co-founder and Managing Partner of Amplified Capital Partners.

"We love that Bach to Rock encourages people coming out of the armed services to become entrepreneurs through its veteran incentive program"

"Music brings us joy and we never had the opportunity to develop it into something full-time until now."


Music Education Industry Interview with Angela Sakell of Bach to Rock

Recently, Angela Sakell of Bach to Rock sat down with Franchise Gator to discuss the Bach to Rock franchise opportunity and the music education franchise industry.

Provide an overview/ description of your industry.  Include reasons why it's a great industry to start a business in today.

According to a recent Gallup survey by NAMM (the National Association of Music Merchants) "interest in playing music is at an all-time high." The study further indicates that "more people are currently playing music and own musical instruments than have in the last decade, despite challenges to music education programs in schools."

As schools and local governments cut music education programs, many are turning to private music lessons to fill the void understanding the value that music can bring.

There is abundant research documenting that students that study music tend to perform better in other areas of study. Psychology of Music recently noted children trained in music "display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers."

The number of Americans 65 and older is expected to more than double to 89 million by 2050, according to the Census Bureau. These Boomers, who are healthier, wealthier and living longer than ever, are staying active and seeking new hobbies and activities including taking music lessons. According to the NAMM Gallup survey "85 percent of the adults surveyed wished they had learned to play a musical instrument." Bach to Rock capitalizes on the aging of Baby Boomers by contracting with senior living communities.

How has the music education industry changed in the last 10 years? 20 years?

The music industry has become increasingly fragmented with the dawning and proliferation of the internet.  YouTube, iTunes and Facebook along with sites like MusiciansFriend  have changed the way music is accessed, bought, exchanged and learned.

What trends do you see in the music industry over the next 5 years? Next 10 years?

We see a consolidation of the retail music industry. Mom and pops are being replaced by nationally branded offerings. Now is the time to own a piece of this consolidation.

What is the biggest concern about your industry that a franchisee candidate should be aware of and investigate?

Candidates should investigate unit economics carefully. The Bach to Rock model has more revenue streams and has a broader demographic base than other franchised music schools which leads to strong margins, attractive returns and recurring revenue.

Why do you think Bach to Rock stands out in the industry?

Bach to Rock has strong unit economics combined with a stellar management team backed by a well-capitalized management and investment firm, Cambridge Information Group.

What makes your franchise/ business opportunity more attractive than your competitor's?

  • Strong margins, attractive returns and recurring revenue

  • Serving a wider age range than other franchised music schools, including adults

  • Multiple revenue streams (rent out your recording studio to local bands, host parties, and more)

  • Proprietary curriculum jump starts your business

  • Prime territories available

Describe the ideal candidate.  Do you think your requirements are any different than your competitor's?

Our schools are bigger than our competitors more students, more revenue and are ideal for multi-unit operators. A business person schooled in management, finance, marketing and operations makes the ideal candidate. No music experience or ability is necessary.

What's the strongest skill you require in a candidate?  

A strong drive to succeed and passion for the business .

Describe the working environment of your franchisees (indoors, home office, mobile, etc).  Is your environment typical of other companies in your industry?

Franchisees will work in a 2500 square foot retail space typically in a suburban strip mall location.  

Why has Bach to Rock been successful?

Bach to Rock schools have been successful because the unit economics work combined with the need for music education given school budget cuts.

What advice would you give someone interested in buying a franchise in the music industry?  

Check out the competition and decide for yourself which model has the strongest economics.

How much experience in this industry should a franchisee candidate have should they consider buying a franchise in your industry?

A franchisee needs no experience in the music industry to be successful. General management and business experience is all that is needed.

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