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 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. With 10 corporate schools and 50 franchised schools from coast to coast, Bach to Rock and CIG are committed to building a system that is 500 strong by 2024.
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:
- Cypress, TX opens February 2021.
- Fishers, IN opens March 2021.
- Mt. Juliet, TN opens July 2021.
- Nashville West, TN opens July 2021.
- Zionsville, IN opens July 2021
- Arlington Heights, IL (corporate owned) opens February 2020.
- San Diego, CA (Rancho Penasquitos) opens February 2020.
- Marietta, GA (Sandy Plains) opens June 2020.
- Cedar Park, TX opens September 2020.
- McKinney, TX opens October 2020.
- Fairfax, VA opens November 2020.
- Lake Mary, FL opens February 2019.
- Wayne, NJ opens May 2019.
- Fulton, MD opens February 2018.
- Johns Creek, GA opens March 2018.
- Denville, NJ opens March 2018.
- Tanasbourne, OR opens May 2018
- Virginia Beach, VA opens June 2018
- Carmel, IN opens August 2018
- Naperville, IL (corporate owned) opens August 2018
- Redmond, WA opens August 2018
- Plymouth, MN opens September 2018
- Lutz, FL opens November 2018
- Flower Mound, TX opens January 2017.
- Nanuet, NY opens March 2017.
- Encinitas, CA opens June 2017.
- Mount Pleasant, SC opens September 2017.
- Northbrook, IL (corporate owned) opens October 2017.
- Huntersville, NC opens December 2017.
- Penfield, NY opens December 2017.
- 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.
- Bristow, VA opens October 2015.
- Folsom, CA opens June, 2014.
- Mamaroneck, NY opens August 2014.
- 2nd franchise location opens in Wayne, PA.
- 1st franchise location opens in Port Washington, NY.
- Bach to Rock began offering franchises.
2008 – 2010
- 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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