8 Simple ways to promote Manie Musicale in French class

Manie Musciale 2021

Manie Musicale is a fun way to get your students involved in current culture and using the French language in an exciting way.  The month of March is filled with excitement about the NCAA basketball tournament.  People fill out their brackets and those who otherwise don’t care about college sports or basketball get sucked into caring whether or not Duke will win this year or if there will be another big upset.  How can you harness this excitement for your French classes?

Manie Musicale activities

For the past few years, a couple of French teachers have put together a bracket of French music – a competition to determine the best song out of 16.  They call it “Manie Musicale” and it has grown each year.  Students from schools all over the world participate, filling out brackets and then voting to determine which song should win each round of the competition.  It’s a great chance for students to get some language input, some cultural input, and maybe even a little bit of output!  Manie Musicale 2021 looks to be even bigger and better than ever!

It’s pretty simple to participate in Manie Musicale.  Each year, 16 songs are chosen.  Each song is up against one of the other songs for the first round.  Students choose which song they think will win the round – or they can just vote for which song they like better. 

The winners go on to the second round, until there are only two songs left in the final round.  When they are done with their brackets, it’s time to sit back and wait for the voting to start.  Once the voting rounds start, students can go online and cast their vote for which song they prefer.  At the end of the day, one song will go on to the next round and one will be eliminated.

There are many ways to use Manie Musicale in class.  Of course, you can just do it because it’s fun to listen to new songs and watch the videos.  But there are ways to leverage the activity for maximum input and discussion. 

Ideas for using Manie Musicale in your classes:

  1.  All levels can watch the videos as a movie talk.  Describe what they people are wearing, what they are doing, make up a story to go along with the video.  Of course, some videos will work better for this than others.
  2. In level 2 and up, you can use the videos to practice imparfait/passé composé.  Discuss the setting of the video, what people are wearing, what the date was, etc.  Make up a backstory for the characters.  Then, describe the plot.  Of course, this works better with videos that tell a story of some sort.
  3. In level 1, you can use the song to discuss how much students like the songs and videos – un peu, beaucoup, etc.  4 corners is a good game to play!
  4. Have students find adjectives to describe the song and/or singer(s).  Practice making comparisons between the two songs – song A is faster than song B.  Singer B is taller than Singer A.
  5. Have students justify their choices – were they voting for the song they like better, or for the song they think other students will vote for?
  6. Read the lyrics and/or listen to the song WITHOUT showing the video.  Have students write about what they would do if they were making a video for the song.  Then watch the video and see if they like their own idea better than the actual video.
  7. Let students pick one of the 16 songs and come up with comparisons in the native language – then have students make posters to share their suggestions: If you like Keen’V, you’ll like _______________.  You could then make posters for students not in French class to share around the school – “If you like these singers, you’ll love Keen’V!”
  8. Do a cloze activity with the lyrics to the songs.

These are just a few of the things you could do to make Manie Musicale 2021 even more fun and full of input.  And of course, you should sign up for the Manie Musicale Facebook group and the activity!  If you’re not sure how it works, or you need to download the brackets and links to the videos, check out the official website.  The first round of voting will be on March 3-4, with the final winner chosen on April 5.