French Song March Madness

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Faith Johnson

While most associate March Madness with basketball, Madame Jackson has repurposed the idea for her class. She is doing a March Madness bracket for French songs that her students find.

First, she has her 4th and 5th period find songs, then-within that period- they decide the top eight to go in the running. Once the top eight are chosen, the rest of her classes pick the best ones, and it goes on like a typical bracket. “I wanted to do the song thing because I felt like I was stuck in listening to old stuff from when I was younger, so I wanted [them] to find things that were young and exciting and new, and I don’t always see that,” Mme. Jackson explains, “so that was my original idea for the project, and the project had nothing to do with March Madness,initially. But the first time we did it, it was a lot of ‘my song’s better,’ ‘Your songs are terrible,’ and it must’ve been right before March Madness and I was like ‘let’s do a competition for it.’” Although, that was only one part of the idea, the rest was still being fine tuned, the voting part. It was first just the 2nd level of French that voted “and then, I started saying ‘Well, let my 1st year see it because at least they’ll be exposed to something,’ and it ended up being where not only does the upper level learn about music but everybody does,” Mme. Jackson reveals. It’s all about the exposure for them. One last insight she mentioned was that it showed her where everyone was, musically wise. She could see how they think about music which could reveal other parts about them that could help her.

The 3rd and 4th level students definitely enjoyed picking their songs. The process for finding them actually, quite varied. With it either being “just click[ing] the first song that was on google” like Gordon Garl or submitting a song that they’ve listened to for a while like Kaylee Waldorf. “Last year, when I picked my song, I didn’t like it too much, [even though] it was second place… It was fun listening to different French music, so I was like ‘I’m going to find a good song for next year’ so I literally have know this song [”Les Châteaux de Sable” by Co&Jane] for like a year.” Unfortunately, she did not make it past the first bracket. 

The winner of last year’s bracket was Lavi Ogunjinmi with his song “Bella” by Gims. He won the sweet price of a Chick-fil-a gift card. He mentions, “It was pretty good. I used it the first day I got it.” He goes on to say, “I thought I was going to win. It was a good song. It was better than the rest.” What a humble attitude towards a great win.

On the students’ side, this French March Madness definitely was a good addition to the classes. For the 3rd and 4th level that get to find the songs and for the 1st and 2nd level that get to vote on the best ones. It adds a little spice to the month of March.