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!