Inside: Do you want to try out a March Mania Musical Spanish Music Bracket? Or the fall Hispanic Heritage Music bracket from Mis Clases Locas? You are in the right place if you want answers to all of the Mania Musical FAQs on how to do a Spanish class music bracket.
What are Spanish music brackets?
The basis of Spanish class music brackets came from the March Madness tournament-style bracket. Most mania musical brackets start with 16 songs. Since 2015 I have been doing mania musical – March Music Madness with 16 songs.
Then in 2016 I created the original Hispanic Heritage Month fall Music Bracket, with one song from each Spanish-speaking country. This bracket of 22 songs can be seen below. While it is not exactly symmetrical, it includes a representation of all places that speak Spanish. Thousands of Spanish teachers participate in the Hispanic Heritage Month Music Bracket every fall. Most do their bracket during Hispanic Heritage Month September 15-October 15.
How are Spanish class music brackets used?
Typically two songs/videos are played each day and the class votes on which song moves on, based on which one they like more. I have always had all of my classes vote together. At the end of the day, the song with the most votes moves on to the posted bulletin board bracket. This means stapling the name of the song to the winning line on a bulletin board or writing the winner on a whiteboard or large poster. All of my brackets include labels to make your own posted bulletin board, like the completed one seen below from the Spring of 2021.
Since I was always a department of 1 this meant that all Spanish classes were working together on one collective Spanish class music bracket. This helped to build a positive community among the Spanish classes. Some teachers post the music bracket in the hallway if multiple teachers at the same school are participating in one big bracket together.
What do you do after 1st round? Do you listen to the songs again?
Yes, the same songs are used again in the next round. The repetition of getting to hear the song that students enjoyed and voted to move on in the bracket is a big part of the engagement factor. Many times we play a song once for Música miércoles and then it disappears forever. (We might forget this as teachers since we listened to that same song 7 times in one day:) Do you enjoy listening to a song you like again? Of course!
Depending on how much time you have to devote to your bracket, you can mix up what you do each round. This could be how you watch the video, or what follow-up activities you do with it. See What to do with a song in Spanish class & The NEW 5 Ways to Chat about Music in Spanish blog posts for tons of ideas.
An example of a 15-day bracket unit
- Round 1 – 8 days of match-ups – Start class by watching the two music videos. Have students vote using the included Google Forms of the NEW 2023 Spanish Music Bracket (2023 TPT high school Spanish music bracket).
- Round 2 – 4 days of match-ups – watch the videos as a brain break mid-class & vote with these paper voting forms
- Round 3 – 2 days – have videos playing as students enter & chat using small questions cards to discuss comparing the songs
- round 4 – 1 day Find Someone Who chat & writing/dance/learn about the artist.
I always allotted about 10-15 minutes per class to watch the videos and discuss for the 15 days. Then we went on with our normal class content for the rest of the period. (With the exception of the end of the unit chatting, where you could spend the whole class discussing music if you have the time).
What if you do not have time for a Spanish class music bracket?
If you have a set, packed curriculum without time for mania musical, I have a few ideas for you.
- 0 class time – Have students listen to the 2 songs of the day outside of class or during work time & vote using the included Google Forms of the 2023 high school Spanish music bracket. Then you could just quickly show who ended up moving on the day before on your posted or digital bracket.
- Less time in the later rounds – Or you could spend a little time during round 1 watching the music videos, and then just have students vote in your own Google forms for the later rounds.
- Sub Plan Option – Assign the digital bracket & slides as a sub plan. Students could listen and fill out which songs they like in their digital bracket. To expand, have students write why they prefer the songs that they picked. (You could also do this in addition to a class bracket. For example assign the older, all-female mania musical de mujeres for Women’s History Month in March).
What are the benefits of using your Spanish music brackets?
Mis Clases Locas music brackets are self-paced
Since I started creating and posting my version of mania musical, other large, global Spanish class brackets have started such as MMM with SpanishPlans (the music bracket godfather) or Sr. Ashby’s Locura de marzo & Locotubre. In these brackets, there is a set calendar and certain songs have a giant open voting form for specific songs on specific days.
Global voting never worked with my Iowa March school schedule, where we always had a parent/teacher conference comp day, sometimes had snow days, and the lucky schools have Spring Break the 3rd week of the month. So I always created my own March music bracket that was self-paced and could be started and completed on any day. This means even when we had every other day block schedule or hybrid schedule my music brackets worked in any situation.
Build a community with a class/school winner
I know some people enjoy voting with thousands of other students and teachers in big brackets like locura de marzo. In my classes, they enjoyed that the songs that they actually liked moved on in the tournament. The smaller scale bracket meant that the fate of the songs that moved on was actually in their hands. Students could campaign down the hallways or after school at events for certain songs, they loved and wanted to move on and win.
There is a sense of ownership and pride when your vote truly matters and makes a difference. One of the highlights of this activity is the high student engagement. I would hate to lose that engagement with songs moving on that my particular students did not even like.
Mania Musical includes diverse music
Each year I seek feedback from the Mis Clases Locas community for suggestions of current, diverse music to include in the music bracket. The NEW 2023 Spanish Music Bracket (2023 TPT high school bracket) includes all songs released in 2022-2023 that represent 11 countries. There are balanced genders of musicians (not just white, male pop singers). Plus there are many genres of music including pop, bachata, rap, dembow, punk, alternative, tropipop, urbano, rock, and more.
It is not just about which songs win Billboard awards, have more streams, or are the most likable pop songs. Rather the brackets help students be exposed to a variety of speakers of Spanish from all over the world to expand their cultural awareness. In particular, the Hispanic Heritage Bracket makes sure that all 22 Spanish-speaking places are represented.
What if I teach young students or at a more conservative school?
You are in luck since for the past 4 years I have not only created the original high school brackets, but also a young Spanish March class bracket. The younger music bracket has options of full 16 songs or a 1/2 8 song bracket for classes that do not meet as often. Also, the bracket contains songs that are a mix of current hits and older classics.
These are all authentic songs, not songs created to teach students Spanish. The young version usually has a few songs in Spanish from current animated films. (For example, the 2023 version includes songs from Puss in Boots & Vivo, and the 2022 young bracket includes Encanto & Raya). But the majority of the songs are actual, authentic music videos from artists like Tierra Adentro, Luz Pino, Alex Cuba, and more. Everything is in 100% editable Google resources, so you can switch out anything you would like.
This is the only appropriate March music bracket that I have seen. I now have four March versions as well as a young Hispanic Heritage Music Bracket & New 2023 Young HHM 1 song from each country bracket. If you want options & know you want to use these for years to come, I have a Young music bracket bundle.
What are some of the best Spanish music bracket tips and tricks?
Music Bracket Bulletin Board Tips – Have student helpers put up your bracket bulletin board. Print each of the pages on a different color of cardstock. Also, print 4 copies of the small later round pages, so you already have them. Then just cut out who wins to add to the board. Use a yardstick to make straight bracket lines with colored masking tape or thin colored duct tape.
Preview the videos – Every school culture and situation is SO different. You are the expert on your school, so please watch the videos before projecting them to your whole class. Yes, these videos have been screened by many people and are all ones I would personally show. But, one person might not be comfortable showing a midriff top or a certain beverage that appears in a video. Only after watching for yourself are you able to make the call to switch out to lyrics videos, and audio only, or switch out the song entirely.
Share your progress & collaborate! – Join the Mis Clases Locas Facebook group to collaborate with others using these music brackets & share who is winning in your classes. Or tag @mis.claseslocas on social media so I can see & share as well. It is so fun to see how similar and different students from across the world vote on the same songs. Students enjoy seeing that other students across the country are listening to the same songs & comparing how they voted.
*Update You now have the choice to get my 2023 Music brackets from TPT or the Mis Clases Locas Website Shop.
- NEW Young Music Bracket 2023 MCL Store
- TPT 2023 YOUNG Middle School Music Bracket – created for upper elementary, middle school or conservative high school
Want to learn more about Spanish class music brackets?
- Watch this recorded Instagram Live Music Bracket FAQ
- Read the blog post mania musical – March Music Madness &/or Hispanic Heritage Music Bracket
- To mix it up, read the new post 5 Ways to Chat about Music in Spanish
- Watch the Youtube Video Below
Get your 2023 Mania Musical Brackets!
Mis Clases Locas Spanish music brackets help bring fun to your classes. Students learn about Hispanic culture and its many genres of music which can encourage them to listen outside of class. By participating in these mania musical tournaments students also get an opportunity to develop opinions about different types of music while also talking in Spanish about something they care about. Overall music bracket provides a unique and fun way for students to enjoy learning Spanish while being exposed to authentic culture. If you want a Spanish music freebie, sign up below.
Music Bracket FAQ originally posted 2.20.23 by Allison Wienhold on Mis Clases Locas & most recently updated 9.12.23