The Bach to Rock Story
Why playing in a band and playing music you like is a formula for success
Our President Brian Gross feels a real connection to the Bach to Rock mission, which is to dramatically change the field of music instruction by altering the way children achieve music competency. His own experience with music lessons while he was growing up is far too familiar, as he can tell you in the video below:
As a preteen, Brian would have loved learning how to play the heavy metal songs made popular by Judas Priest. His music teacher made him learn the acoustic songs of folk singer John Denver. Brian’s parents simply wanted their son to have a broader cultural education and some outside interests besides sports. But Brian grew to resent playing music he didn’t like. His mother finally relented and let him quit after 18 months of lessons.
“Had I been able to play what I liked or play an instrument I liked or play music with my friends, it would have been a different story,” Brian says. “My parents, like many parents, looked at music education as an essential part of the growing-up process. That’s why our business is so successful.”
From summer camp to national music education franchise
In 2002, a 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 play 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), our parent company, discovered Bach to Rock when his own son attended the school and had a rewarding experience. He saw an opportunity to provide the same transformational music education experience on a much broader scale. In 2007, Bach to Rock was born. 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.
Changing the path of music education
Our music schools are making a big difference in their communities. That 11-year-old with the pink streaks in her hair you see repeating drum rhythms in a practice room in our Herndon, VA, school this week might be counting off the beat for her band at Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern next week. A 15-year-old boy working out a bass guitar part to a ’70s rock classic with his crew in Bethesda, MD, might soon be on stage at the Hard Rock Cafe in Baltimore.
Our school’s music instructors, all of them professional musicians, are turning these kids into rock stars. That’s a dream almost anyone can relate to, and our franchisees are discovering that it’s a dream parents are willing to pay for. Especially when they see the results Bach to Rock gets. Some of our bands have gone on to local fame. Alt pop/punk band Throwing Wrenches and hard-core rockers Black Sparks have loyal fan bases, play gigs locally and have lively Facebook pages. One Bach to Rock student, Josh Bernstein of Gaithersburg, was a finalist in the Kidz Bop national kids talent search. But we understand most of our students will have traditional career paths. At Bach to Rock we know that when they learn to play the music they love alongside their peers, they’re learning more than notes and melodies. They’re picking up key life and career skills — and a love of music — that will last a lifetime.
CIG already has invested more than $20 million into the Bach to Rock concept to help us create a game-changing and scalable business model and to build the systems to create a nationwide chain of music schools. CIG’s support of Bach to Rock is helping our company gain momentum for our leadership role in the fragmented music instruction industry. We already have several corporate schools on the Eastern seaboard, and we have franchised schools from coast to coast. With a goal to build a system that’s 500 strong by 2024, Bach to Rock and CIG are committed to a unified vision.
The financial commitment to our innovative approach to music education shows in our earnings. We’re seeking investors who are passionate about music, about business and about educating children.
A timeline of the Bach to Rock story:
- 27th agreement signed for Virginia Beach, VA.
- 28th agreement signed for Rochester, NY.
- 29th agreement signed for Johns Creek, GA.
- Nanuet, NY opens March 2017.
- Flower Mound, TX opens January 2017.
- 17th agreement signed for Rockland County, NY.
- 18th agreement signed for Ridgefield, CT.
- 19th agreement signed for Alpharetta, GA.
- Wellesley, MA opens January 2016
- Memorial, TX opens April 2016.
- Jacksonville Beach, FL opens May 2016.
- Midlothian, VA opens May 2016.
- Rocklin, CA opens May 2016.
- Ridgefield, CT opens September 2016.
- Alpharetta, GA opens October 2016.
- Apex, NC opens November 2016.
- North Scottsdale, AZ opens December 2016.
- 20th agreement signed for Ellicott City, MD.
- 21st agreement signed for Huntersville, NC.
- 22nd agreement signed for Orlando, FL.
- 23rd agreement signed for Charleston, SC.
- 24th agreement signed for Morristown, NJ.
- 25th agreement signed for Vancouver, WA.
- 26th agreement signed for Encinitas, CA.
- Combined 2016 gross sales for the 20 opened Bach to Rock schools exceeded $8.2 million.
- 9th agreement signed for Boston, MA.
- 10th agreement signed for Sacramento, CA.
- 11th agreement signed for 6 units Richmond, Charlottesville, Fairfax, VA and Raleigh, Charlotte, NC.
- 12th agreement signed for Houston, TX.
- 13th agreement signed for Jacksonville Beach, FL.
- 14th agreement signed for Apex, NC.
- 15th agreement signed for Scottsdale, AZ.
- 16th agreement signed for Flower Mound, TX.
- Bristow, VA opens October 2015.
- Combined 2015 gross sales for the 12 opened Bach to Rock schools exceeded $6.8 million.
- 6th agreement signed for Long Island, NY.
- 7th agreement signed for Westchester County, NY.
- 8th agreement signed for Denver, CO.
- Folsom, CA opens June, 2014.
- Mamaroneck, NY opens August 2014.
- Combined 2014 gross sales for the 10 opened Bach to Rock schools exceeded $5.5 million.
- 2nd franchise location opens in Wayne, PA.
- 3rd franchise agreement signed for Sacramento, CA.
- 4th and 5th agreements signed for Bristow, VA and Fredericksburg, VA.
- Combined 2013 gross sales for the 8 opened Bach to Rock schools exceeded $4.9 million.
- Bach to Rock Signs First Franchise Agreement.
- 1st franchise location opens in Port Washington, NY.
- 2nd agreement signed for Wayne, PA.
- Bach to Rock began offering franchises.
- Combined 2010 gross sales for the five Bach to Rock schools exceeded $3.1 million.
2008 – 2009
- Three additional schools were opened in Mclean, Leesburg, and Chantilly, Virginia.
- A satellite school in Herndon, Virginia was also opened.
- Music Makers Holdings, LLC acquired East Coast Music Production Camp, LLC and rebranded the school Bach to Rock.
- A second location in Gaithersburg, Maryland opened.
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