Jukebox Journey Online Recital

Events and Recitals, Musings, Technology, Tips

Last weekend our online recital, Jukebox Journey premiered! The theme came from the practice incentive program, Jukebox Journey.

I was really hoping that by this spring we would be able to do an in person recital. But it turns out that wasn’t in the cards quite yet. I expressed to my husband how much more work an online (recorded) recital really is compared to in person recital. I already knew this because I did the same thing last year with our Calliope Musical Circus recital. (See Adapting Your Recital Online Part 1 and Part 2 here). But because that recital was a duet recital, I assumed for some reason, it would be a little “easier” this year. The answer is no. Ha, ha! But I will say now that it is all said and done, I am glad I pushed forward as I am happy how it turned out. I thought I would share a few things about our online recital this year.

Behind the Scenes

Jukebox Journey is a musical time travel journey celebrating the last 100 years in music. Students dressed up in the decade their piece was in. Last year at this time we were only doing online lessons, so students recorded their part at home. This year, most of my students are in person again so for the last in person lesson of the semester they came and I recorded their piece. This way, everything looked more uniform and was recorded the correct way. Plus we had a chance to do some fun headshot pictures too!

One of the challenges about being a creative, is you have all these ideas but it can be a lot of work to implement those ideas. I love to use the green screen because it opens up a whole new world. Setting it up, however, takes a bit of time. For Christmas, my husband gave me a pop up green screen and I figured I could keep things simple and just use that. But we quickly realized it just wasn’t enough, so big green screen, it was.

I will say though, the pop up green screen came in handy when one of my students walked in with a green skirt the SAME color as the green screen! (see picture below) Totally not her fault as my students had no idea we would even have a green screen when they came in to record their piece. Shift over to blue screen…Phew!

When students left their “recording session” they walked away with a Jukebox Journey recital “swag” bag, which included an in invitation to the premiere, their trophy, a Jukebox Journey button and performance popcorn.

Learning Something New

Last year, my husband did quite a bit to help me pull off my online recital in time. He helped film and was a big part of the editing process. This year however, I really wanted to do as much as I could on my own. I ended up putting my iPhone on a tripod and I filmed myself. For editing, he insisted that I really need to learn Final Cut Pro instead of editing in iMovie. I have been postponing it as it would take time to learn something new, but finally relented and the training began! Can I just say he is the master of keyboard shortcuts?

Jukebox Journey Trailer

This year I was inspired by our local piano store, Riverton Piano to add in a trailer at the beginning. I loved how it turned out! I ended up also using it as a separate “sneak peak” trailer to get everyone excited about the premiere.

Introduction Narration

Many years ago I changed the way I did my spring recitals. This change was one of the best things I ever did and will never go back. Make sure you come back and read this Music Teacher Tip: A Creative Spin on Performance Introductions where I explain all about it. Being online was no different. So when I was preparing for Jukebox Journey, I knew that I wanted to touch on little facts of each decade before students performed their piece in that decade.

Jukebox Journey Time Travel Summary 

After our recital aired last weekend, I was laying in bed one night and the thought came to me that I can take each of my decade introductions and create a little mini “time travel” video for you to use with your students. Feel free to save and use the video below. Plus I have another surprise for you…

Freebie for You!

I also made a Jukebox Journey trivia game for my students to play at our online recital party. Questions were based from my narrations on our recital video. After playing it with students, I thought it would be perfect for our monthly subscriber freebie! (Each month I give freebies to subscribers). If you are not a current subscriber, you are not left out, just grab the freebie below which will also make you “official” to get future freebies too! Win-Win!

After students watch the Jukebox Journey Decade video above, you can play the trivia game together. Yay! (You will be able to use it with your students online)


Decade Piano Pieces

Choosing pieces for students to play for this recital was so much fun. But let me tell you, it was hard too! There were SO many great choices. Unfortunately I couldn’t get all of them that I would have liked to in. What was chosen in the end was dependent on what choices were available that met a particular students level. I have had several teachers express interest in seeing my list, so I made it available to download here.

Making Memories

One of the things about doing an online recorded recital is how much more I see those mistakes, bad positions, etc.  As I’m editing, I found myself questioning it all, let me tell you. But looking back when you are recording your mind is completely somewhere else and I realized it is the same for students. For some reason when that red button is hit, everything they remember goes out the window. And if you are like me, you aren’t even noticing if they are sitting tall or have droopy wrists. Instead, your mind is on other things, like…. Did I hit the record button? When is that background noise going to stop? Oh no, I forgot to turn off the A/C! Will we have time to do everything we need to?

I have a student this year that it caused too much anxiety for her to be on video. So I took a still picture of her, recorded the audio and added the still over her audio in post so she could still be in the video. Adapting is okay. Mistakes are okay. Not being perfect is okay. Oh, we made plenty of mistakes, but we also made a lot of great memories and it showed. In fact, we had a blast! It was so fun to see students dress up in the decade their piece was in. In the end, that is what it’s all about. Having fun, celebrating music and each other and making memories.

Sharing Time

Tell me, what memories are you making this year with your students? Are you holding an online recital for the first time, once again or are you lucky enough to do in person? Or maybe it’s just been too much this year and you are totally forgoing a recital this time and focusing on other things instead. That is okay too!

Pin for Later

Check out the Jukebox Journey practice incentive program too!

An interactive experience like no other, students will be transported in time through games, activities and videos as they progress in their practicing during the week. Included are 10 different virtual music rooms from the roaring 20’s all the way to the future!


  1. Anna

    This was so great to read. Thank you for sharing your journey through the decades and online adventures. I just finished putting together a video of the after-school music program group piano students I had this year for their recital. What a year! Meeting kids only only in September, learning how to set up and manage computers for online lessons, working with kids who’ve never had piano lessons before….it’s been an adventure for sure. I love your movie trailer. I guess I’ll have to look into Final Cut Pro now since I’ve only been using imovie. I’d love to look further into the “Decades” idea. Your recital must’ve been very difficult to put together, but the outcome looks like it was worth the effort. Thank you so much! (P.S. I’m also partial to music of the 80’s, it’s in our blood for those of us who were teens then). 😀

    • Jennifer Foxx

      Thanks, Anna! It was a fun theme for sure. As you know first hand a lot of work goes into the behind the scenes. Enjoy your summer and yes, 80’s ROCK! 😉

  2. James Harding

    This turned out SO WELL! You do such a great job creating neat experiences for your students that they can’t get anywhere else. It’s such a joy watching your kids learn… and getting to see them in person at our special events. Thank you for all you do!

    • Jennifer Foxx

      Thank you, James! Appreciate your kind words. 😊

      • James Harding

        My pleasure! I always enjoy seeing the stuff you do! (PS – for some reason, I am not getting any notifications when you reply to my comments. I set it up, but it’s not working for some reason. FYI.)

      • Jennifer Foxx

        Thanks for letting me know. Will have to look into it.

  3. James Harding

    Hilariously, I DID receive notifications for that one! Hahaha. Maybe just talking about it fixed the problem!


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