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School of Rock Franchisee Plans to Expand in California

Music education enthusiast Chris Czaja expands music curriculum in The Golden State.


School of Rock is gearing up for greater expansion in California as its existing, successful franchisee Chris Czaja plans to open one to two additional units with the brand. The music education franchise currently has over 20 locations open in California and hopes to bring two to five more to The Golden State in 2019.

Originally from Long Island, Czaja and his wife, Elizabeth Weiner, first learned about School of Rock through a mutual friend in 2011. “Our friend invited us to School of Rock’s two-day event called The Opening Act,” recalls Czaja “We couldn’t believe what an incredible production it was.”

The fact that neither Czaja nor his wife was musically inclined didn’t stop them from becoming a part of the largest performance-based music education program in the United States. They made the decision to “join the band” the end of 2012 after the couple met the incredible team of teachers and musicians at West Los Angeles’s School of Rock location.

“School of Rock doesn’t just give kids the chance to play an instrument, they learn play in a real band setting – live on stage.  They gain self-confidence, learn how to work with others, troubleshoot when things go wrong and how to apply critical thinking skills to real-life situations,” said Czaja.

After experiencing success with their first location in West Los Angeles, Czaja and Weiner decided to reinvest in the brand by bringing a new unit to Venice in 2015, and then acquiring two additional locations in Burbank and Pasadena in 2018. “Our decision to own and operate a second, third and fourth location came from working with the corporate team and using their proven business model that allows you to scale,” said Czaja.

According to School of Rock’s Chief Development Officer Anthony Padulo, School of Rock considers basic benchmarks like population, income levels and the percentage of kids in an area when looking at potential markets for brand expansion, but will also look for a certain level of creativity. “California continues to align with our top growth criteria,” shared Padulo.

The leading music education franchise is now looking to grow throughout the state of California, both in areas where they’ve seen current success and in marketplaces that were previously untapped by the brand, like Century City and Glendale.

As Weiner and Czaja search for their newest School of Rock location in California, convenience for the musicians and their families is a major contender in their consideration process. “We are focusing on opening new locations that are close to schools to help parents cut down on driving time. We also want the new School of Rock classes to be in tune with the neighborhood to help build a sense of belonging and community,” said Czaja.

School of Rock currently has more than 215 locations across the United States, 29 international studios and educates an average of 200 students per location. The business allows franchisees to do what they love -- be involved in the music business, become a pillar in their community and shape the next generation of young musicians.

“The model can work anywhere, but it works best if it is regionally tweaked. There are so many people that gravitate to California for the music and entertainment industry. Because of this, we have a tremendous talent pool and that is one of the many reasons why we are excited to bring more music education to families here that are so passionate about what we do,” said Czaja. 

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.