Sr. Ashby's Picks!
Greetings all! As the poll creator, I actually cannot vote! However, I do want to give you thoughts on the 31 songs you have to choose from. There are 31 because I made a last minute addition, Camilos’ “Ropa Cara” came out a day after we posted the top 30 for voting, and I think that song would go a long way in the tournament! I can’t stop listening to it myself.
Everyone has their own opinions on songs and music, which is why our students get so invested in this! So don’t be offended if my opinions are different than yours! I try to consider many different factors, culture representation, female representation, positive messages, etc. However, at this stage in the process, I generally just vote for the songs that I think the students are most likely to add to their playlist!
So with that being said, here are my top picks for the tournament.
Sr. Ashby’s Top 10 (in no particular order)
“Ropa Cara”, Camilo- I LOVE this song. Video is pretty appropriate overall, and I think this could be the one song that really takes off with our students. The message here is so great- don’t give in to social media and peer pressure, just be yourself. 15 million youtube views in 2 days
“Bella Y La Bestia”, Morat y Reik- Classic Morat vibe, appropriate lyrics, appropriate video
“Humano”, Chocquibtown- Love this song and message! Upbeat, Afro-latino culture. Appropriate video
“Agua”, J Balvin, Tiiny- This song is not my favorite, but I do think kids will really like it! Appropriate video
“Pura Vida”. Don Omar- Upbeat, positive message, appropriate music video
“Amen”, Ricardo Montaner, Camilo, various artists- Beautiful song, appropriate lyrics and video. The religious portion is not specific enough to any one religion, and these are not Christian artists, they are pop artists and this is a popular song representing culture, which is predominantly Christian.
“Vuela”, Macaco- Reggae sound, appropriate music video
“Malamente”, Rosalia- I love this song, and Rosalia would be great to have in the competition, the music video is definitely NOT school appropriate. However, there is an edited version of that someone was kind enough to make, and a lyric video is an option.
“+ mas”, Aitana, Cali Y Dandee- Love this song, appropriate music video! Kids will connect to it
“Tanto”, Jesse Y Joy- LOVE this song. Such a great vibe, even though it’s slower. Music video appropriate as long as the students are mature enough to handle the ballerina’s outfit.
Sr. Ashby’s 10-20 Selections
“De Una Vez”, Selena Gomez- Students know Selena Gomez, appropriate music video, good message, nice song! Just came out on January 16. 37 million views in 6 days. Relevant
“Vida De Rica”, Camilo- The only thing knocking this out of the top 10 is that I think students will like Ropa Cara better! Appropriate music video, great message on this song!
“La Lista”, Aldrey- This has been suggested every year for 5 years! Ha. Catchy, appropriate, good music video, I think it’s time it gets in!
“Nuqui”, Chocquibtown- This is another one that gets suggested EVERY year. Great song, great message, by one of my favorite groups. Music video appropriate
“Aloha”, Bomba Estereo, Carlos Sadness- I love this song and it’s upbeat dance vibe! Music video probably has different opinions, but I would not show it to my middle schoolers.
“Que Tienes Tu”, Dvicio, Reik, Mau- This song is a bop! Music video is appropriate as well.
“La Fiesta”, 116, Lecrae- I can’t help but just loving this song. It’s the type of song you turn on in class and dancing breaks out. Appropriate music video as well. There are Christian references in this one too, In English… so it pops out a bit more, and feels more Christian and less cultural than Amen… so something to keep the discussion going on if it gets a lot of votes.
“Deja Vu”, Shakira, Prince Royce- Bachata song! Great song, if it had an appropriate music video I’d put it in my top 10… Shakira dancing here would be a bit much for my middle schoolers.
“Falta De Amor”, Sebastian Yatra, Ricky Martin- Is this song too slow for Locura de Marzo? Not sure, but I like this song a lot. Music video mostly appropriate as well
“2020”, David Rees- This song is great on so many different levels..., but it also just feels a bit gimmicky somehow… it also is 5 minutes long… Despite all it has going for it, how would it stack up against the others? I’m not sure… appropriate music video though!
Sr. Ashby’s Honorable Mention:
“Resistire”, Various Artists- I love the music videos with these various artists, and the cool songs that came out of the shutdowns. I just see students connecting with some of the other songs better.
“Color Esperanza 2020”, Various Artists- See above
“Al Aire”, Morat- I do like this song alot… but I like Bella y La Bestia better, and Morat songs are so similar sounding (in my opinion)
“Cun Cun Pra”, Cimafunk- I fear I may like the idea of this song more than the song itself, but I love the variety it would provide, music video is appropriate also
“Barrer A Casa”, Alvaro Soler, Sophia Ellar- I love this song when I watch the music video… but without the video I think to myself- eh, it’s okay.
“Lampara Para Mis Pies”, Juan Luis Guerra- Great music video, upbeat song, but just doesn’t quite get my vote.
Sr. Ashby’s Bottom of the Barrel:
“Beso En Madrid”, Tini Alejandro Sanz
“Si Tu La Quieres”, Aitana, David Bisbal
“Magia”, Sebastian Yatra, Andres Cespeda
“Tiburones”, RIcky Martin
“Suficiente”, Musiko Remix- I do like this song
These songs made it from 140 down to the top 30, so naturally they have some great things going for them… but I just think students will like the other songs better. Suficiente perhaps may be pushes the boundaries too much religiously.
Finding The Beauty
This will be my 5th year organizing Locura de Marzo. Locura de Marzo is a song tournament for Spanish students, where thousands of students across the country and world vote for their favorite songs to advance to the next round. This will be the 5th year of the tournament, and it's been a ton of fun.
The first two years, I hand selected the 16 songs. It was a pretty painless process! However, these past three years we have developed a process where teachers submit songs over the course of several months. Those songs are then graded by a panel of teachers. The rubric asks teachers to consider if the lyrics are appropriate and if students will connect with the song. The rubric also includes extra points for culture, race, and gender representation and what type of overall message the song has. Other factors like if the music video is appropriate also factors in. This past year for example we had 140 songs that we narrowed down to 50. The final step in the selection process involves teacher and sometimes even some student voting to get our final 16 songs.
Overall, I love this process! It allows for anyone to make song suggestions, and for each song to be vetted along the way for appropriateness. It allows hundreds of teachers to be involved and makes for some awesome discussion about cultures, music style, and what is age appropriate for our students.
One thing that has been challenging is that I really do not have much control over the songs selected. Mine is just one voice amongst many. My favorite 16 songs are not always selected. However, my challenge to everyone is to not look at a final list of 16 songs and say, "What is missing?" If you want to look at a list of 16 songs and find something negative about it, you won't have to look too hard. One of your favorite songs maybe got cut, you wish a song from a certain country or genre was included, etc. Instead of looking for the negative, let's try to find the beauty. Rich lyrics, authentic resources, comprehensible input, cultural and country representations, positive messages, and much more.
I also find it helpful to remember that these are 16 songs being focused on over a 3 week period. We have our students all year long! There are plenty more opportunities to expose your students to other artists, songs, genres, and cultures.
Let's stay positive and try to find the beauty in each song chosen this year!
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About Señor Ashby:
I am a K-12 Spanish educator specializing in creativity. I am passionate about learning through technology, music, and innovation. I have taught Spanish to K-12, and am a two time finalist for online teacher of the year (2011, 2014). l live in West Michigan with my wife and our four energetic boys!