Composers Suitcase is designed to help classroom teachers teach music improvisation and composition skills and offers insight into the historical and cultural qualities of civilizations that have produced various types of music. The program also encourages students to explore leadership roles, develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and strengthen their cognitive abilities.
Composers Suitcase is a self-contained teaching tool. The Suitcase comes ready to use with a Teachers' Guide, recordings, musical instruments, artifacts, storybooks, photos and puppets, all intended for use throughout the curriculum. Also included are tools for student assessment, including suggestions for learning portfolios and opportunities to demonstrate student learning to parents.
Composers Suitcase is multicultural in content. The curriculum presents several units in each grade level, each focused on a particular world culture: Native American, European Opera, and Middle Eastern music in Third Grade; Indian, electronic, and worldwide indigenous music (e.g., Australian, Caribbean) in Fourth Grade, with extension into students' own composing and improvising. Activities and materials are provided for bilingual/ELL students.
The curriculum is easily teachable by those who have minimal music education, by classroom music specialists, and by resident composer-educators. The curriculum specifically incorporates composer residencies and includes opportunities for students to improvise and compose their own music. The American Composers Forum can help you find a composer-educator to work with, or you may wish to create your own partnership with a composer.
The Composers Suitcase curriculum is closely aligned with National Standards for Arts Education; all nine standards are represented throughout the curriculum.
Composers Suitcase® is a registered trademark of the American Composers Forum.