School of Rock Franchise?
I have received e mails about this and I am sure a lot of others have too.
Lately I have been thinking that it may be worth looking into. I have no experience with a franchise business and no experience in the music business other than playing in bands. I am not qualified to teach music.
It looks like they have a good business model and a lot of good marketing. The initial investment and the franchise fees seems reasonable too.
In the Twin Cities metro area there are three right now and they seem to be doing good. The closest one to me is is about 35 miles.
A lot of the reasons I think it could work where I am located are the same ones that made me decide to move my main business out here.
Cheap rent on commercial property.
A growing population of people with high income.
A building just down from my building went on the market a couple months back that I think would be perfect for it.
4800 sq. ft., great signage on the main road, dirt cheap rent and utility's, the building is in great shape with modern heat, air and electrics.
Does anyone have any experience negotiating or working with or this company?
Not having experience in this aspect of the music business I'm not sure if I should venture into it.
My old saying has been "Do what you know"
What is your passion for music education? By your own words, you aren't qualified to teach. Did you seek out an opportunity in music education? Was it a cold call? From your post, it sounds like the latter. Have you thought about something similar in the past?
Apart from "easy money", why do you want to do this?
My son attends a music school called Los Rios Rock School, in Southern California. It takes major dedication and superior instructors to make this kind of thing work. These types of schools are performance based, so instruction is coupled with live situational practice as well. Then gigs at major local venues, like House of Blues.
If done right, there is money to be made, no doubt. The gigs are extra money for the school where every grandma, aunt Susie, etc wantsd to come see Johnny play "Gold on the Ceiling" or whatever hipster thing is current. Our school has tripled in attendance in the past two and a half years.
We have two Berklee grads on staff and several other world class teachers (Coachella vets, etc). I think that is the key, finding good teachers.
I have received e mails from "Bass Player Partners", they send out things pertaining to bass and the business.
I am not qualified to teach bass or any other instrument. I do have stage and performance experience.
I have managed businesses and have owned my own business for the past twelve years.
I know how to interview people and find the right person for the job so I can staff the place with qualified people. I know how to run the office part.
Yes, I would like to make a nice profit off of my investment.
But I think it would be very exciting and fulfilling to see children and young adults get into music, start a band and do shows.
I think dealing with the parents would be a headache. Same reason I passed on being a school teacher. I also think it's just more of the over-coaching being foistered on children these days. Let 'em be kids and form their own bands. Being the Malcolm McClaren of kiddie rock seems kind of creepy to me.
If you really want to do it though I think you are probably plenty qualified to show them how to take a power stance and grimace while crunching an E chord.
Finding good teachers will be the main issue, but they give you support for this kind of thing don't they?
I got the same spam email. At a glance, it looks like it would be a very cool thing to do. However, I get the sense that it could take a fairly sizable financial & time committment. Plus, there are already at least a couple of School of Rock locations near me. That was another deterrent.
As for teaching there? It seems like they want people who may actually have music education backgrounds. Being a solid player may not translate into being a qualified teacher.
Still, the opportunity to pass on some knowledge and a love for music to kids seems like a really worthwhile thing to do. Many of us had a teacher who made a difference in our musical development. Why not try to pass that along to an eager kid?
Hmm.. not sure of that one in particular.
My uncle however runs one (different name) in New Jersey. Seems like a lot of work. Usually only see them around the holidays, and we get to sit through endless videos of his children that are forced to play music, and suposedly enjoy it. ;)
But yeah, they got a bunch of pretty good teachers I guess. It's very awkward to watch though. It looks like aging rockstars (the teachers) that never made it, living vicariously through "teaching" children, and eventually putting on concerts for the parents, or special functions or whatev.
I got NO prob with adults teaching the kids, but when it's time to perform, Let the KIDS/ students do it.
Looks like a LOT of work for little pay.
HDRACER: If you want more specific details, pm me, and I can give ya the name of the place Im speakin of.
The franchise fees are not bad. The big outlay would be in the build out of the building and stocking and maintaining equipment like drum set, PA, amps, guitars and basses, keyboards and other things needed.
As in any franchise the franchisee gets the benefit of the name, advertizing and help setting up and running the business.
The school is not about teaching theory and ground up music. It is about getting young people playing music. Once they are hooked they can go on and learn the rest, may be even go on to schools like Burklee, Mcnally Smith or any number of good music schools after they get out of High School.
I would not teach, I would hire a staff for that. One person could not run a business like this. I see a staff of 10-15 teachers and administration.
I plan on driving over to a couple of the schools around here and talk to the owners and staff to get a better feel of their operation.
After raising three kids I know that they all have different interests and activities. They all take parental time and money. I know the costs involved with having a child in sports. Compared to having a kid play hockey or football, buying a kid a Squier guitar or bass and sending the to a fun school is nothing.
I was hoping that there was a few young TB'ers that went through some of their programs or knew someone that has.
It would seem to me that this type of program should be equal parts education and performance. Its not enough to just be a accomplished player, as we are all aware through media, there is more to it than that. Times have changed and your clientele will probably be very savy to whats happening in todays pop/rock culture. If it were me I would approach it strictly as a for profit investment , and let others teach, Im too much of a dinosaur to be involved in todays music scene.
One of my Piano students has been involved in a local School of Rock program for the last few summers. The repertoire largely consists of Classic Rock with a strong emphasis on Classic Prog. I have helped him learn music by Pink Floyd, The Doors, Yes, ELP, Jethro Tull, Journey, The Cars, etc.
The instructor in this summer program who isn't necessarily a keyboard player pretty much leaves it up to the student to figure out his or her own part. ELP, Yes, and Jethro Tull are a major undertaking for an 11-year-old and with my coaching he has impressed his instructor.
Currently they wanted him to play the Flute intro to "Cross-eyed Mary" on keyboard which really doesn't translate well. I told him he could probably play it on a real Flute with a couple weeks of practice. So I loaned him one of my Flutes and he was starting to get it the first day. His instructor was blown away that he could take up a new instrument and be able to learn it so quickly.
I could probably get a job at one of the local Schools of Rock here in NJ and I think it would be fun to do but I like being independent and being free to take gigs without any schedule restrictions.
This is what I was thinking. Just get them playing and having fun.
Is that school doing well? I know two of the ones around here have been open for 3-4 years and the other about 2.
Do you have any idea how the pay is for the teachers/coaches is?
I have had many of my private students do the various programs at the local School Of Rock over the years.
My impression is, the franchise owner has a ton of work and responsibility. You'd have to do it for the sheer love of getting kids up on a stage and letting them get loud.
I have been asked if I wanted a "faculty" position. I'm gonna take a pass. Like LordRyan, I have my hands full with private students, performance, studio, etc. (i.e. paying bills).
Yes, some sessions are very well organized and the shows are impressive. But lately, it seems some of the sections are not working as hard as the others (each instrument works in separate classes to learn their parts and they come together for only one rehearsal before showtime), so you end up with serious deficiencies and low standards (usually with the vocals). Some of the performances come off looking like a chaotic beginner-level jam session. And they don't teach the kids anything about stage presence/wardrobe/aesthetics, so they usually stand there looking very uncomfortable. They do, however, rent a top-notch P.A. and light show for the final performances.
Also, the amount of notation/TAB and actual instruction students receive varies from session to session. Lately it seems my students are left to their own devices, and whoever has the best ear/TAB/youtube vids/private instructor gets their parts right and are awarded the more challenging or spotlight parts (like solos).
In my private teaching, I partner up with a couple of other instructors in my area and we do recitals, which are very well-organized and usually involve more orchestrated formal efforts, but we also do one or two popular tunes or jams at each performance. That's a lot of work, and when you add in all the administrative details, a School Of Rock franchise sounds like a ton of time and effort.
For the ultra-dedicated only. I wouldn't imagine you could pay your rent or mortgage with it either.
The initial franchise fee is $49,500 and the royalties are 8% plus 3% brand fund.
Some of the support is,
Franchisees are trained and prepared to provide students with an unparalleled performance based rock music program. School of Rock’s franchisee training program provides franchisees, with or without music experience, the tools to succeed. We provide you with:
On-Site training in both the business and music instruction aspects of running your school at one of our three training schools
Assistance in getting your school built including a nationwide network of real estate partners, design and construction standards and guidance, and contracting partners.
A proprietary IT system to manage the school business
Grand Opening and continued marketing support through plan development and execution, creative and collateral, PR, and
A dedicated franchise operations director to work with you
Ongoing new product and program development
Discounts on equipment through our network of partners
I teach once a week at School Of Rock. The strength of the school is that it gets kids up and playing with each other and give them an opportunity to play some songs that an adult can help them with. The shows are usually pretty good considering they're kids. The guy that said they look like beginner level jam sessions is probably right if he saw a beginner show (when's the last time you saw an amazing middle school orchestra concert?). There are advanced shows too and I've seen those kids play songs BETTER than the adults do.
Downside is just like any other school. If the private teacher isn't good then the kid isn't getting a good education. You can't blame that on the franchise other than there's not a very good way to hold the private teachers accountable. I've inherited students from other schools that can't read a single note of standard notation, I have to change their technique... etc. So is it perfect? No. But it seems to help a lot of kids and it's a great option for communities that are losing their school music program.
school music programs arent what they used to be in some communities, either by lack of funding or declining enrollment, I can see where something like this might fill that gap.
Agreed MonkeyBass, I have seen some really impressive shows. Didn't mean to imply they are all chaotic. Some are quite good, but the chaotic ones always make me wonder how much time and effort the faculty put into it. As a private music teacher for 15 years, and a retired public school teacher, I've gotten pretty good at judging student potential at all age and skill levels, and some of these School of Rock performances did a poor job at getting the students prepared and performing up to their potential.
The whole "let's get up on stage and get loud with our amps and mics under the pretty stage lights" thing is the easy part. If that's the goal, every SOR performance I've seen has been a bonafide success.
Are you saying you teach or use standard notation in your School of Rock classes? I have yet to have a student come to me with School of Rock music in anything but TAB (if that). And sometimes the TAB is quite inaccurate.
Total start up costs would be in the $125,000- 250,000
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