What is Manie Musicale? It’s a competition that was created by two French teachers in Maine to coincide with the March Madness basketball tournament. Sixteen French songs are selected and students fill in their brackets after listening to all them, trying to predict which songs will move on to the next round and which one will be the champion.
Madame Alana’s French classes participated this year along with French classes from over 3000 other schools around the world, voting, and watching heart-thumping reveal videos to find out if their favorite songs were moving on or had been eliminated. Along the way, they read biographies about the artists, learned about the many French-speaking countries that the artists came from, and became proficient in expressing their opinions about songs and reactions to the votes in French.
They also analyzed the lyrics and messages of some of the songs and created dances to interpret the meaning, and added new words to their vocabulary. Finally, after hundreds of thousands of votes were cast, the 3 classes gathered for a reveal watch party to enjoy croissants, cheese, and Belgian waffles (in honor of the song we all though should have won, “Bruxelles, je t’aime” by Angèle) and to find out who had the best bracket. “I think it was a really fun way to learn new words while listening to music. As an American, we usually listen to English music so it was really cool to listen to French music. And I loved making tik tok dances!” said Charlotte, a senior in Intermediate 2.
Our two champions were Luke Kane and Alden Kalbfleisch, who were awarded L’escargot d’or, the golden snail trophy. Bravo to Corneille, a Canadian singer with roots in Rwanda who was this year’s winner with his song “Nouveau Monde” (New World). He even recorded a special thank-you message in French and English for all the Manie Musicale participants. Students are now creating Smashdoodles of their favorite songs to culminate the unit. Time to recover from the thrills and heartbreaks of this year’s competition, add a few new names to our spotify lists, and wait until next March!
Elizabeth Noonan is the Principal of BFA Fairfax High School and is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY.