Bach to Rock Pandemic Reflections and Projections
Posted on: October 8, 2020
By Brian Gross, President of Bach to Rock
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Bach to Rock to rethink our model of music education. We had to react quickly to ensure our forty-four schools would remain open. Within just two weeks, Bach to Rock rolled out online private music instruction followed by group instruction, then early education programs and subsequently birthday parties and camps. A huge undertaking. As of this writing, Bach to Rock has delivered over 100,000 online lessons to 6,500 students. I was, and am, completely grateful to our corporate team and our forty-four franchisees for their resiliency, and their calm, creative and intelligent thinking as we managed the crisis together. We have emerged even stronger, more cohesive, and intently focused on how to best meet our students’ and families’ needs moving forward. Now, we are looking into the future and projecting how our “pandemic model” of education may continue beyond the pandemic.
At Bach to Rock, we have moved from crisis to proactive mode. We can reflect on what we’ve learned and project how the positives are reshaping our business model. I’ve read numerous articles speculating about what business will look like post-pandemic. Businesses were forced to find digital solutions to keep afloat and are now examining the possibilities for continuing these practices in the future. Our business model was built on in-person connections, but now having pivoted to online lessons, we see an opportunity to offer lessons both in-person and online. I’ve also read a lot about the concept of increased localism. Small, entrepreneurial, community-oriented businesses like our Bach to Rock schools are at the heart of their communities.
Kids form bands and play at local events, families support our open houses, schools and community groups host our students at gatherings, sporting events and fundraisers. Our community connections have helped us thrive since we opened our first school in 2007 and will become even more vital as we look ahead post-pandemic.
We’ve identified a few projections for Bach to Rock and potential franchisees moving forward:
- Bach to Rock will continue to include online lessons as part of our business model even after COVID is eradicated. We are speculating that 20 percent of our future business will be from online learning.
- Families will have even greater scheduling freedom. Students can take some of their lessons in-person and some of their lessons online. Students aren’t restricted to either mode – and that’s ideal when schedules are tight, or students are at a second home.
- Bach to Rock schools can thrive with smaller footprints. Our current model is a 2,200 square foot music school. With 20 percent of future lessons projected to be taught online, footprints can be reduced to 1,800 square feet, saving thousands of dollars in build-out costs, rent, and utilities each year.
- Without limitations on geographic boundaries of a physical storefront (the driving distance most parents are willing to make for music lessons) more families will be able to access our curriculum. This could include international customers.
- With the development of online assets, we foresee faster growth of the Bach to Rock brand. We’ve made the investments in technology that competitive franchise music schools and independent teachers are unable to take on. This creates a significant advantage for Bach to Rock.
- Bach to Rock will have access to even more great teachers. With physical barriers removed, teachers can teach from anywhere, which increases the talent pool.
- Bach to Rock students will be able to continue their music education with us should their family move to another city or country. Now, they can continue online lessons with their favorite instructors.
- Our community connections will continue to be a pillar of our business. We can meet families where they are – in their local communities or for online events and lessons. For example, we can accommodate students online during the summer and winter vacations to continue lessons without skipping a beat!
Our core values of providing fun and inspiring music lessons will not change. No matter how we teach, the old days of solitary music lessons are gone. Kids will be teamed up and learn to play today’s hits and get to jam with other kids.
While the future cannot be predicted and the pandemic still upon is, future franchisees should feel confident that Bach to Rock is poised to use the learnings and investments from our online model to ensure we remain a strong and family-oriented resource for parents seeking quality music education in their community.