Students in Mme. Welch’s French 2 class have been voting for their favorite francophone songs through Manie Musicale 2021, an international “tournament” of French Language songs set up for high school students around the world.

Lincoln Academy students enrolled in French classes have been participating in “Manie Musicale 2021,” a match up of 16 francophone songs that go head to head in rounds of voting. The goal is for students to select the best French song and video of the past year. The event is modeled after the NCAA March Madness Basketball tournaments with the final vote for Manie Musicale taking place on the same day as the men’s NCAA Championship game. Students listened to all the songs and completed their own bracket prior to the start of voting. Students then vote for each match up and keep track of how they are doing based on the voting results.

Now in its sixth year, Manie Musicale was started by two French teachers in Maine in 2017 who were trying to create an engaging activity for their students during a time of year that is often challenging. Stephanie Carbonneau of York Middle School and Michelle Fournier of Falmouth Middle School modeled Maine Musicale after a Spanish version called “Locura de Marzo” .This year, Manie Musicale has grown to become an international event. There are over 50,000 students participating from 2000 schools from all 50 states and ten other countries from Australia to New Zealand. Students from schools who registered can vote each round for the song of their choice. Students keep track of points earned on their own bracket.

“Lincoln Academy students have been listening to a francophone song every week since the pandemic started,” said World Languages Department Head and French Teacher Alison Welch. “I hoped that participating in Manie Musicale would continue to spark student interest in listening to French music, introduce them to more pop culture, and enhance their listening ability. In addition, we have worked on writing skills, vocabulary acquisition, oral skills, and some grammar points in class, using the songs as the basis for all of these activities. Many students have said that they have added at least one of the songs from the competition to their own playlists. This is exactly what I had hoped would happen.”

“Yup, it’s pretty cool,” said freshman Jonas Stepanauskas. “There’s some pretty sweet songs that I’ve added to a Spotify playlist. But seriously, it’s pretty cool.”

“I’ve really enjoyed participating in the Maine Musicale! It has definitely improved my listening skills and it’s so much fun listening to the songs in French. I would definitely participate in this again!,” said sophomore Ellie Mae Stevens.

“The Manie Musicale event is really fun and engaging because we’re learning about French pop culture while learning new vocabulary,” said junior Forest Holbrook. “It’s exciting to vote and see the results come in every couple of days and keep track of points.”

“I have really enjoyed being a part of the Manie Musicale,” said junior Katie Sanborn. “It has helped further my understanding of the language while simultaneously introducing me to a variety of music I have never heard before. Overall, I have really enjoyed this experience and all the music it has exposed me to.”

“This experience has been really rewarding for me!” said sophomore Clare Colburn. “I enjoy how it brings music and French together in a way that is interesting for students. I also really liked finding new music and new singers to continue listening to in the future!”

April 6, 2021 Update: the winner of Manie Musicale 2021 was revealed in this video.