New School of Rock franchise in Beavercreek invited public to check it out



Amanda and Nathan Warden never planned to open a School of Rock franchise in Beavercreek. However, after being approached about the opportunity in late 2020, the couple recognized the potential. They are hosting an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, in the new facility in the Beavercreek Towne Center.

Amanda, who is general manager of the newly opened School of Rock Beavercreek, has been homeschooling their four kids, ages 15, 13, 11 and 9, their entire lives. Nathan, who is a technical sales engineer for a local company serving the aerospace and defense industries, has been playing in bands since he was 12 years old.

Nathan: “We got contacted about this and we’re like, ‘Who is this? Where did you get our name?’ (laughs) This was during the pandemic. It was a very different time. We were locked in our basements.”

Amanda: “We weren’t really sure about it at first but the more we looked into it and the more we thought about it, the more we fell in love with the program and the model. We realized we were uniquely suited to do this.”

Nathan: “We’re musicians. We’ve always been musicians. We actually met in high school. I was the bass player for a traveling choir she was singing in, so music is just who we are. I’ve been in a lot of bands in the area, but Amanda is the perfect human being for launching a franchise business. We’re home schoolers but we have actually built a rather large community in this area where people who do home schooling can come together. It’s similar in model to franchising. It’s a licensed community. Licensing law is very similar to franchising law.”



When worlds collide

Amanda has years of teaching experience but also understands the legal side and the nuances of establishing a community based on education.

Nathan: “You have all the same legal sorts of questions and criteria among licensing and franchising. She’s worked on both sides of that. She has licensed the community, and she has built it up from essentially us to 20-ish families. It’s well over 100 students. It’s super successful. She also moved into the role where licensing directors of other communities would contact her, so she got to know really well how those things work. When School of Rock came up, it very quickly became obvious that if this was something we wanted to do, Amanda was the perfect person.”

Amanda: “Yeah, it’s kind of like the merger of worlds I’m in and love, music and education for kids. It was kind of the sweet spot. We knew we could build something not just for us but that our kids and the community can all enjoy. The kids are so excited about this. Homeschooling is its own special little world. This is exciting because we’re going to get to be with the broader community more regularly. We’re really excited about that.”

After deciding to take on the new venture, it took two years and several failed real estate deals before the couple found the current space. Even then, after signing the lease they had to wait about 10 months before starting construction on the facility in the former locations of The Avenue clothing store and Pearl Vision.

Amanda: “It was a little bit painful to wait on this space so long but now that we’re here and I’m in here setting up furniture, it feels good. I’m watching people walk past and I feel like this is going to be a really good spot for this. It’s going to be very convenient for parents. I am a parent so I know how it is. You can drop off your kid for lessons and go shopping or grab a coffee.”



Power in numbers

Individual lessons are important in the development of any musician, but most players will advance faster working in a group setting. That is the idea that inspired Paul Green to start the first School of Rock in Philadelphia in 1998 and it is still a driving force behind the network of more than 350 franchise schools in 15 different countries.

Nathan: “One-on-one instruction is a necessary component, but the goal is to get people playing as a band immediately. Of course, it depends on your age and experience level. For example, our younger kids, the 6 and 7 year olds, we call them the Rookies, will meet once a week to play together. They’ll play all the different instruments. They’ll all get experience with the bass, guitar, drums, piano and vocals. They’ll all fill all those rolls from week to week. Hopefully, they’ll walk away with a love of music but also enjoying playing with other people. When the kids are ready to pick up an instrument and focus on it, we’ll move them into one-on-one instruction plus group rehearsal.”

Amanda: “The band piece, them learning how to play together, is what really drew me to the program. I wanted that for my kids, especially as homeschoolers. There are different things that are great but there are also areas where we haven’t had the same kind of access to things like school choirs or bands. Every single program we offer actually has a group component. It’s really what differentiates us. Even the ones in the Little Wings program, which starts at 3, are in a group.”

Teaching children is a major part of School of Rock but there are programs for adults. The venture is also a job generator, providing a new revenue stream for area musicians interested in tutoring others.

Nathan: “School of Rock has this vision of providing opportunities for people who are musicians to make money on the side when they’re not touring, not gigging or in between gigs. That way they can make some money to survive. The idea of taking the resources we have and putting them to work and also providing opportunities for musicians to meet musicians is just the coolest thing. We’re making musicians that will later on have the same opportunities to hopefully come back and teach themselves and that’s awesome. That opportunity never really existed until School of Rock. We love it.”

Enrollment is open now for ages 3 and older at School of Rock Beavercreek, which is the first franchise in the Dayton area. The closest other one is School of Rock Mason, which opened in 2012.

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or

How to go

What: School of Rock Beavercreek

Where: 2850 Centre Drive, Suite 6, Beavercreek

More info: 937-912-1010 or

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