“I Will Always Love You”: A Music Lesson Idea for Valentines Day, 2012


On the eve of the Grammy Awards and just before Valentines Day 2012, we have lost a music great who was best known for her powerful voice and according to the the Guinness Book Of Records was the most awarded female act of all time- RIP Whitney Houston.

Here is footage of Whitney Houston singing one of her signature songs called “ I Will Always Love You” – A Perfect title for a  Valentines Day Music Lesson Plan, which became a No1 after Houston’s first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard in 1992. This single became the best-selling single by a female artist in music history.

Another piece of footage which caught the attention of the world in the early 90’s and has been highlighted in the media over thesepast couple of days was her version of the Star Spangled Banner.

It’s also interesting to note that in ITunes over these past couple of days, Whitney Houston’s album is the top album featured and her song “I Will Always Love You” is also one of the top singles – a sign that everybody is thinking Whitney Houston at the moment.

Using these current events as a basis, it would seem fitting to teach our students about the impact of Whitney Houston’s music, her place at the Grammies both past and present and the Grammy Awards in general as a Valentines Lesson Idea for 2012.

One of our US friends, Jo – teacher of 30 + years in middle school, has recently posted a fantastic new blog called “The Secret of My Success” outlining a lesson plan based on the Grammy Awards which would be a great basis to plan this lesson from.

In the article, she talks about how she gets her students thinking about the Grammies. She has several question ideas to help you get started, some research tips and a worksheet that you can download based on the Grammy Awards for students to fill in.

Take a look at the article and let me know how you use it with your classes. Did showing footage of Whitney Houston have an impact on your students? How? Do your students already know what the Grammies are and how they work? I’d love your feedback on this Lesson Idea, so make sure you leave your feedback in the comment box below.


  • By Doris Sigurdson Reply

    This is not a comment ..instead I am sharing an idea with you that FINALLY has made my students learn the value of their notes… It was an impromptu idea I had in the middle of my Grade 3-5 Music Class… We had been working on a recorder selection and most were paying little attention to the value of the different notes…. I also teach private piano and violin lessons and many times felt frustrated because it seemed that many students just didn’t pay attention to the value of the different notes.
    As a teacher, I know that many learn better through games and movement…so I used the idea of a Phys Ed game called “What Time is it Mr. Wolf?” and called the revised game “The Treble Clef Party”. One person is designated as Mrs. (or Mr.) Treble Clef. She/He stands at one end of the gym facing the wall. This person is “IT” in the game. “IT” has a large set of flash cards(one each of the whole note, half note, dotted half note, quarter note,PLUS one card with 1 eighth note and one with 2 eighth notes that are joined together.On “IT’S” wall I put a large paper staff with a treble clef on it.
    All the other students line up on the opposite end of the gym and facing “IT” who can’t see them because he/she has his/her face to the wall. Together they ask the question…”Who are you inviting to your staff party, Mrs.(Mr.) Treble Clef?”
    If “IT” holds up a dotted half note, they identify it by naming it and then telling its value in steps. (Their response will be “dotted half-note:3 steps”)Then everyone takes 3 steps toward “IT”.If “IT” holds up one eighth note, they can only take 1/2 step….If “IT” holds up the 2 joined eighth notes they will call it “double eighths” and take a full step. Play continues in this manner with the students asking the question each time and naming the notes and taking the alloted steps until “IT” can tell they are almost upon him. Since the object of the game is to reach his wall(the staff party) without being caught, “IT” will have to be clever and choose a note with a small value until he is sure that they are close enough that he can tag one of them.Then when they ask the question again…he may shout”The Staff is full!” and turn and chase them until he tags someone. Those who had to run back are safe if they touch the opposite wall. Those who got to “IT’S” wall have safely made it to the staff party. The person he has tagged becomes the new “IT”.
    This is the best idea that I’ve had for teaching notation. I notice now during piano lessons that my students are counting and correcting themselves..I hear things like..”Oh, no…that’s a dotted half note…It needs 3 steps..
    My K-2 Class have begged to play this and it’s thrilling to see what they are learning through this game. Some of my piano students are in this classroom and it has had a very positive impact on them.
    I also teach Grade 6-8 Band and there are students in this group who have trouble with rhythm and beat, so, in desperation I had them play this game for 15 minutes in the middle of our 80 minute band class…Amazing results!
    I teach music 2 days out of each cycle: K-2, Gr.3-5 and ^-8 Band…. Now I allot at least 10 minutes in each class for “The Staff Party” Game. (It’s also a good activity to leave on your substitute list because it can be played until the sub “has had enough”.)

  • By Allison Turner Reply

    This sounds like a great idea, but your friend’s blog is marked as private so even AFTER you have registered as a blogger just to see the article they have to get permission from your friend before any of us can see it. She might want to make it public if it’s going to be on a site like this. =)

    • By Janice Reply

      Hi Alison,
      We’ve only just seen that ourselves- there could be all sorts of reasons why it has been marked as private. We have written to our friend and hope it can all be resolved soon.
      Kind Regards,

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