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Justin and his friends are just your typical American kids… who happen to be classical music prodigies. Oh, and they also lead a double life as Internet pop music stars. But other than that, very typical.


Let’s back up a beat.  


Justin is a fourteen-year-old classical cellist. After a full day of navigating high school, he heads to the Joyous Music School, founded by his father. Every day, Justin, his little sister Christine, and their diverse group of friends spend hours dutifully rehearsing, performing, and studying classical music. But as they perfect their craft while balancing the pressures of adolescence and cultural expectations, Justin starts to feel limited by classical music.


One day after rehearsal, Justin and his best friend Brandon film themselves covering a contemporary song with their string instruments. When they upload it to the internet on a whim, they don’t expect anyone to see it. But two views becomes ten views… then a hundred views… then a few thousand views! Shocked at the response, they upload more music. They experiment with pop, hip-hop, and R&B as their viewership continues to skyrocket. 


When Christine discovers their account, the only way to keep her from telling their parents is to let her join. Soon Justin, Christine, and their friends have formed a covert contemporary strings ensemble. As they keep uploading new content, the kids continue trying to please their parents and maintain their studies while keeping their flourishing stardom a secret. 


The show itself becomes an energetic medley of mixed media as we see bits of Justin’s uploaded videos and social media presence. The narrative structure is punctuated with footage of performances, live streams, bloopers, music tips, confessionals, and graphics. It’s also a living record of the Joyous kids’ growing stardom. As their popularity climbs, they’re invited to perform on television, open concerts, and collaborate with impressive artists. But with greater opportunities comes the increasingly difficult task of keeping their fame a secret. It gets tough to focus on Beethoven’s Themes and Variations when Justin and his friends have to prepare for an appearance on The Ellen Show or opening for Janet Jackson.


Full of genre bending and blending, cultural exploration and inclusion, and innovative mixed media formatting, this show is just as unique and delightful as its stars. Taking the best elements from predecessors like Glee, Hannah Montana, Mozart in the Jungle, and Fame, The Joyous Music School can lead the way for this next generation of great musical comedies.

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