What I love about March Music Madness is that students get a peek into what music is popular in other parts of the world. It’s a way to connect our students to the language. Who doesn’t love music? When you have students start singing a song in class or telling you how they listen to the songs at home, you know it’s doing its magic.
As Dustin Williamson says: “Quite honestly, MMM is more about having fun, listening to music, being exposed to different genres and making March better in my classroom.”
I look for music that is A) Current (from the previous year only), B) Popular and not obscure and C) appropriate. This year our bracket has 25 artists, 7 women, 9 countries and over 2.3 billion hits on YouTube. It also includes different genres including Bachata, Pop, Urbana, y Regional Mexicano.
Students don’t need to understand the lyrics of the whole song to enjoy it. How many of us listen to English music and get the lyrics wrong or don’t understand everything? The music is the hook so don’t worry if the song is not 100% comprehensible. However, you can go over certain high-frequency parts of the song to introduce new words or point out a word they know in a new context but most of the language that we use in class is to describe the song, opinions of it, talk about how many votes it has and which song they think will win.
The language we use to TALK ABOUT the songs and talk about the voting process is just as important as listening to the songs themselves.
Use the target language to talk about where the artist is from. Have them write the song title down- spell it for them. Talk about how many views it has on YouTube- practice numbers. Give opinions – is it better or worse than another song? Does a student agree or disagree with their peer’s opinion?
I give them a handout and have them rate the songs. A couple different options are included in our MMM Lesson Packet:
Also, don’t forget a site like LyricsTraining.com which you can use the show the official video with lyrics by using the “karaoke” option to show lyrics with an official video. We have links to all of the songs here.
You can also use the site to create digital cloze activities and selecting which words that students have to type in. We have an easy to follow tutorial here.
At the end, I like to take key phrases from several of the songs and put it together as a story at the end so they are getting more INPUT and repetition of the phrases in another context. In 2019 I used Martina Bex’s Un Año/Jennifer Bilby story and added in other phrases from songs from my bracket.
If you’d like to collaborate with other teachers, join our Facebook group where we discuss and share all things related to our music competition.