The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
Serious Fun

Manie Musicale!

Lower School French students learn vocabulary and cultural differences between Francophone countries in a musical bracket tournament.
While basketball fans were following the NCAA’s March Madness tournament this month, World Language Teacher Rachana Sudhaman’s French 1A and her classes in grades four through six were rooting for competitors in Fay’s Manie Musicale - a very different kind of bracket-busting tournament! 

Manie Musicale is an online competition where students vote on their favorite songs from a bracket of 16 current French-language hits worldwide. Two French language teachers in Maine started the competition six years ago to help spread awareness and enthusiasm about French culture. This year, Rachana decided to organize a Fay version of the tournament using the same songs so that her students could listen to the music, practice giving their opinions and debating in French, and enjoy choosing their favorites in each round’s head-to-head competition. This year’s contestants come from various countries, including Togo, Ghana, Israel, France, Rwanda, and Canada. “The competition helps to remind students that French is spoken in so many more countries than France and Canada,” says Rachana. A Spanish language version of the competition called March Música Madness also takes place this month, and World Languages Teacher Julie Tamer had her classes listen to the songs and vote for their favorite. One class even selected the song that won the competition!

In French 1A and fifth and sixth grade, students learn vocabulary specific to music to express what they like or don’t like about each song. Rachana also had the 1A and sixth grade students choose three artists in the Manie Musicale competition to research, and they wrote bios in French for each one they presented to the class, along with a slide show. 

Students are particularly excited as the competition heads into the final round, says Rachana. “Outété” by French artist Keen'V will go head to head with another favorite, “Danser Avec Toi” by Haitian artist LeFLOFRANCO.  “They are coming into the classroom and telling kids which song to vote for because they want their favorite to win!”
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