How School of Rock hit the world stage with successful franchising | Global Franchise
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How School of Rock hit the world stage with successful franchising

Case Study

How School of Rock hit the world stage with successful franchising

It’s been 25 years since School of Rock opened. Now the unique music education franchise is looking to expand its global ensemble.

It’s been 25 years since School of Rock opened. Now the unique music education franchise is looking to expand its global ensemble.

School of Rock has grown into a trademarked brand and global phenomenon since launching at a single location in Philadelphia in the late 90s. Now it operates 350 after-school music programs in 15 countries across Europe, North and South America, and Asia. The music franchise’s expansion shows no signs of slowing down, opening 26 schools in the past nine months, with 200 additional schools being developed in the United States. School of Rock is also setting its sights on bringing its performance-based music education and patented curriculum to England, France, Germany, Italy, and India. It is currently searching for passionate master franchisees to achieve this.

The franchise has also been on the receiving end of multiple industry awards. In 2023, publications such as Global Franchise, Entrepreneur, and Franchise Business Review all recognized School of Rock for awards, which included best children’s service and education franchise, top recession-proof business, and one of the top 100 most innovative franchises.

An exclusive concept

School of Rock’s music education program is completely unique to the franchise, so much so that The School of Rock Method™ was awarded a U.S. patent in 2021.

Many music institutions focus solely on one-on-one instruction, but School of Rock opts to combine this with group rehearsals and live performances, which teach students how to play as a band. This method of teaching builds musical proficiency by integrating stage performance, song-based learning, and School of Rock’s proprietary Method Books and Method App.

Franchisees leverage the School of Rock brand, a global network, partnerships with musical gear icons such as Fender, Gibson, Shure and Zildjian, and countless alumni and music industry relationships to provide students with life-changing opportunities in the entertainment space.

Through these long-standing partnerships, School of Rock students are given the chance to perform at several music festivals each year, including Rock in Rio, Austin City Limits, Governors Ball, Summerfest, and Lollapalooza.

School of Rock also curates several annual events for its community, including an AllStars tour and Songwriter Showcase, partnering with music industry experts such as American Songwriter and Modern Drummer to give students authentic musical experiences that educate and inspire them outside rehearsals.

Girls playing guitars

Localising rock

The School of Rock franchise comprises techniques, business processes and a franchisee-centric culture that can be localized to individual areas of operation. This is due to its low complexity surrounding logistics, supply chains, technological aspects, language, and operations.

Plus, while popular music and child enrichment is universal, School of Rock’s concept allows customization to celebrate local popular music while instilling core musical proficiency.

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of School of Rock as we continue to build on momentum and expand across the globe to fulfil our mission to enrich lives through music.”

Rob Price, CEO, School of Rock

Global domination

Extending School of Rock’s international reach is a primary goal for the franchise, particularly in the United Kingdom, France, and India, where it is currently recruiting for master franchisees. As part of this recruitment process, candidates follow a clear evaluation path to understand whether the School of Rock business model is a suitable fit.

Boy playing drumset

What type of master franchisee is School of Rock looking for?

  • An astute business mind
  • A proven track record of management in a demanding environment
  • Strong knowledge of the local music scene Awareness of music trends
  • Access to financial resources
  • Resources to execute an aggressive expansion plan
  • Commitment to delivering a fast-track ROI Access to an established team of people
  • Experience in franchising, although not a prerequisite
  • Passion for music and education

Some successful School of Rock franchisees are former or partially-retired musicians and music industry execs, but many are successful entrepreneurs from other industries.

Numerous School of Rock franchise owners started their journey as parents of students enrolled in School of Rock programs. These parents witnessed first-hand the positive effects of the programs, leading them to seek a more active role within the School of Rock community.

Regardless of their background, all franchisees have one thing in common — a shared appreciation for the power of music.

Interested in investing in an international franchise? Check out the Global Franchise directory.

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