Mu­sic school fran­chise to open

Houston Chronicle - - NEWS - By Allen Jones

A hus­band and wife are open­ing a mu­sic school fran­chise in Hous­ton’s Me­mo­rial area.

Bach to Rock, 9075 Katy Free­way, Suite A, is cur­rently un­der­go­ing con­struc­tion and is set to open by Fe­bru­ary. Alex and Lyn­ley Stern own the fran­chise.

Bach to Rock will of­fer mu­sic in­struc­tion pro­grams for chil­dren and adults, in­clud­ing in­di­vid­ual lessons, group classes and sum­mer camps. The mu­sic school also is to of­fer pro­grams for chil­dren as young as six months old. There are 11 Bach to Rock schools in the United States, but the Me­mo­rial lo­ca­tion will be the first in the Hous­ton area.

“We are open­ing the first fran­chise in Texas,” said Alex Stern, 29.

The Sterns ob­tained fran­chise rights for two lo­ca­tions. How­ever, the cou­ple hasn’t de­cided where their sec­ond Bach to Rock fran­chise will be lo­cated or when it will open. They are keep­ing their eyes open for po­ten­tial spots for the sec­ond lo­ca­tion, though.

“We both grew up in Hous­ton, so we are pretty fa­mil­iar with Hous­ton proper,” Stern said. “We are think­ing about the West Univer­sity/Bel­laire area or maybe Sugar Land or The Wood­lands. The thing about Hous­ton is there are so many great ar­eas.”

Alex Stern grew up in Bel­laire and at­tended Bel­laire High School. His wife, Lyn­ley Stern, grew up in the Me­mo­rial area and at­tended Me­mo­rial High School. Both at­tended the Univer­sity of Texas. Alex Stern has an In­ter­net mar­ket­ing back­ground. Lyn­ley Stern is a school teacher.

“We both love work­ing with kids,” Alex Stern said.

“We are both from big fam­i­lies with a lot of nieces and neph­ews. Bach to Rock is a con­cept that re­ally hit home for us be­cause we are both pas­sion­ate about mu­sic, and we wanted to find a busi­ness where we could work with kids.

“We ex­cel in that en­vi­ron­ment.”

He said Bach to Rock is a young and grow­ing fran­chise.

Bach to Rock is of­ten named to En­trepreneur mag­a­zine’s Fran­chise 500 list.

In 2014, Bach to Rock was named one of the fastest-grow­ing pri­vate com­pa­nies in Amer­ica for the third year in a row by Inc. mag­a­zine.

The com­pany also is ranked as one of Fran­chise Times mag­a­zine’s 500 Pow­er­house Brands and is on its Next 300 Fran­chise Sys­tem list.

Bach to Rock’s Me­mo­rial lo­ca­tion is among five fran­chise schools the com­pany cur­rently has in de­vel­op­ment, four of which are open­ing this win­ter.

An ad­di­tional 30 schools sold na­tion­wide, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

“Our suc­cess would not be pos­si­ble with­out our ded­i­cated fran­chisees and site di­rec­tors who are fo­cused on bring­ing mu­sic and arts pro­grams into ci­ties across the coun­try,” said Brian Gross, pres­i­dent of Bach to Rock.

“We look for­ward to of­fer­ing our fun, pro­gres­sive cur­ricu­lum to fam­i­lies in th­ese new mar­kets.”

Alex and Lyn­ley Stern hope to uti­lize their ed­u­ca­tions, ca­reer back­grounds and love of mu­sic to build their busi­ness.

Lyn­ley Stern plays the pi­ano, and her hus­band was in theater dur­ing high school.

He pro­duced mu­sic, mix­ing CDs and putting mix­tapes to­gether, for fun.

Alex Stern said the mu­sic lessons industry is un­der­de­vel­oped in Hous­ton, and that Bach to Rock of­fers a mod­ern so­lu­tion that he and his wife are ex­cited about.

“Mu­sic lessons are tra­di­tion­ally more of an old-school mar­ket where you go to the back of a gui­tar cen­ter or to one-onone lessons in homes,” he said.

“It isn’t in­ter­ac­tive. It’s not fun and mod­ern. Most kids burn out quickly when they have to learn tech­ni­cal stuff.

“With Bach to Rock, stu­dents point the di­rec­tion of where we go. If they want to learn Tay­lor Swift, we learn Tay­lor Swift and do all sorts of fun things.”

Bach to Rock also gets stu­dents into mini-bands of three or four peo­ple with an in­struc­tor to col­lab­o­rate and build con­fi­dence.

“That is where Stern said the “real magic hap­pens.”

“Each stu­dent is on a dif­fer­ent in­stru­ment,” he said. “They get to cre­ate their band name, and it’s very cool in­ter­ac­tion that gives th­ese kids a real taste of mu­sic. That are not just stuck in a back­room some­where by them­selves.”

The fran­chisees ex­pect to hire seven to 12 peo­ple dur­ing the first two years. Once con­struc­tion work on the new lo­ca­tion is com­plete, the busi­ness will be­gin ad­ver­tis­ing for po­si­tions rang­ing from front desk per­son­nel to mu­sic in­struc­tors. To learn more about em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, visit Bach to Rock’s cor­po­rate web­site at www.b2r­mu­sic. com or email Alex Stern at ar­stern7@gmail.com.

Fran Bren­nan Pho­tog­ra­phy of Hous­ton

The in­te­rior de­sign of Luc­ch­ese, 4051 Wes­theimer Road, was re­cently rec­og­nized with a John Staub award by the In­sti­tute of Clas­si­cal Ar­chi­tec­ture and Art.

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