To Whom it May Concern:
My name is Patricia Baser, and I am the orchestra director for the Chippewa Hills School District. I was the cooperating
teacher for Kyle Nester, a student teacher from Alma College. Kyle had the opportunity to teach orchestra grades 5-12 and
excelled in this capacity. I highly recommend Kyle Nester for a position in your district.
The Chippewa Hills District where Kyle student taught has about 2400 students; it is a rural district where about half
the student body qualifies for free/reduced lunch. In spite of its economic climate, the district has a very strong orchestra
program. The orchestra program at Chipppewa Hills includes grades 5-12 and has approximately 140 students. Fifth graders
meet after school for 50 minutes, twice a week. All beginners start on violin and switch to a heterogeneous class of violin,
viola, cello, and bass at the end of the first year. Beginners use teacher-created materials that utilize folksongs from
many cultures that introduce sequential musical patterns which encourage development of music reading skills. Sixth through
twelfth grade string students meet daily for 53 minutes. Method books used include the All for Strings, String Explorer,
High Tech for Strings, and Essential Elements series. Students participate in MSBOA sponsored events such as solo & ensemble,
festival, etc. Many students are also in band, and full orchestra opportunities exist at the high school level.
Kyle had the opportunity to assist with all aspects of the Chippewa Hills Orchestra program, including: recruiting, the
beginner rental night, fundraising activities, the MSBOA sponsored clinic for orchestra students grades 7-8-9, and three school
concerts. Kyle shared conducting duties for each orchestra and assisted with set-up and tear-down for each concert. Kyle
also participated in parent-teacher conferences and arranged for students to play for senior citizens at the Mecosta Senior
Kyle had perfect attendance as a student teacher. He even started two weeks earlier than required by Alma College. Kyle
attended all staff-meetings and professional development activites sponsored by the district and the Mecosta-Osceola ISD.
Kyle had an excellent rapport with the students at each grade level. He maintained his classroom materials (scores, etc.)
in a very orderly manner. Kyle followed my instructions well, and was able to take over my classes when I had to leave because
of sick children. He has been willing to do anything I asked and has been flexible and open to new ideas. Kyle is very self-motivated,
but is also not afraid to consult with others when needed. Kyle's special projects included development of a web page and
lessons on jazz improvization with the eighth grade orchestra. Kyle actively seeks to improve his skills by such activites
as attendance at the American String Teachers Workshop in Ann Arbor prior to student teaching. Kyle has excellent performance
skills as a violinist, pianist, and trumpeter, and has shown much progress in management of orchestral rehearsals at all levels.
Please consider Kyle Nester for employment; he will be an excellent guide for your students and an asset to your staff.
Patricia L. Baser
Chippewa Hills Orchestra Director