Using music in French class – exciting Manie Musicale and Eurovision contests are coming soon!

Using music in French class

Do you use music in French class on a regular basis? This is one thing that most students will enjoy, even if they didn’t necessarily want to take French in the first place. There are so many different types of music in French that you can share with your students, and they might even find a new artist to add to their playlists! That can only help their language skills, so it’s worth a shot.

The weekly cycle for music in French class

There are two different cycles I have in my classes – the weekly cycle and the yearly cycle. The weekly cycle helps me plan each week with a little bit of consistency, which also helps my students with predictability. I used music every single day – I pick a new song each week and play it during bell work, while I’m taking attendance. We don’t necessarily listen to the entire song, but starting each day and week with a song helps to build my student’s audio library of music in French. On Fridays, we go over the lyrics to the song and watch the music video.

I also use each week’s game time as a way to introduce more music in French to their lives. We spend about 20 minutes each week practicing our vocabulary with either Gimkit or Blooket. While we’re playing the game, I put on the NRJ music app – the Made in France channel has only French music. It’s always fun when students recognize songs they’ve heard before, and sometimes they’ll ask me about a song that’s playing and want me to pick it for the song of the week.

The yearly cycle for music in French class

While the weekly cycle givens them a little passive taste of French music, the yearly cycle gets students more active in their music choices. There are two big events for music, both taking place in the spring. If you haven’t participated in either of these you’re really missing out!

Manie Musicale is a worldwide music “competition” with brackets for 16 different songs. It is timed to coincide with the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament. Each matchup puts two different songs against each other. Students and teachers vote on which of the two they feel is better, and the winner moves on to the next round. At the end, there is only one song left. In the past, some of the artists have gotten very involved in the competition, sending messages and responding on social media to their wins (and losses).

Using music in French class - exciting Manie Musicale and Eurovision contests are coming soon!

If you’re interested in joining the Manie Musicale, you’ll want to register on the Manie Musicale website. The event has really grown, and they hope to reach 5000 different schools participating this year. They really put a lot of work into the competitions, with some amazing song choices and reveal videos to share the winner of each bracket. You’ll want to start a few days before the voting starts so you have time to share the songs with your studnets and they can make their brackets.

The Eurovision contest

While it is not primarily related to music in French, there is usually at least one song in the competition that is in French. The Eurovision contest has been around for over 50 years, and some big names have gotten their start at Eurovision (ABBA, Celine Dion). If you’ve never watched Eurovision before, let me warn you – there’s a certain style of song and video that tends to show up, and they can be VERY cheesy. The Netflix movie about it was spot-on, but much of the humor will fly over your head until you know what to expect.

Each nation in the contest submits a song and the performers do a live performance. Voting is done online, and while your students could vote, it does cost money. I choose to just have students rate each song as we watch them and have a class vote at the end. Some of my students have become VERY opinionated about their favorite songs!

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