Realizing the Strategic Advantage of “Remote” | John Cappadona, CFO, School of Rock

The way John Cappadona sees it, School of Rock—the company that he joined as CFO back in March 2019—just became another business.

“We are deriving 100 percent of our revenue right now from something that did not exist 2 months ago. We were an in-person education business. We had to pivot immediately to deliver a remote solution,” he explains.

As it turns out, a customer lesson delivered remotely would appear to be a nice complement to School of Rock’s in-person lessons.

Notes Cappadona: “At the end of the day, the mission is really the same.”

We recently asked Cappadona to share some thoughts on School of Rock’s response to COVID-19 and its lasting impact on SOR’s business model.

  • Extends Community Beyond In-Person Classroom.
  • Remote Offering Helps Remedy Sick Day Absenteeism.
  • Professional Artists Enjoy Rewards of Inspiring Young People Using Easy Remote Access.
SOR CFO John Cappadona

Cappadona: What sets us apart from our competitors is a sense of community. We are known for being a place or a safe haven where students—mostly kids—can come and feel like they’re part of a family. You see this all the time. So the question became, “How do we roll in a School of Rock ‘remote offering’?,” which is what we call it. “How do we roll this into our larger offerings?”

What we realized was that in this new remote world, we could potentially have fewer cancellations because if a kid were sick, or if they were on vacation, we could still connect. We could still do the lesson remotely. What if the instructor is sick or unable to come in? The lesson could be done remotely. So what we’ve been doing is actually augmenting the offerings while enhancing the value by keeping the price point the same.

Every day for the past few months, we’ve been doing “Artist Sessions,” in which professional musicians and known artists participate with us from their homes. They have not been on the road. They want to help. I think that we’ve done a great job in reaching out to these people, some of whom have been holding hourlong remote daily sessions with our students. We’re also doing songwriting classes and other things to add more to the offerings. So—knock on wood—”Yes, we’ve lost a bunch of students, but we’re engaging with many more students now than we ever have, even considering the ones that we’ve lost.” jb

“Remote Student engagement has become a key indicator for us.”

–CFO John Cappadona