2020 has been a strange year for teachers everywhere, as Lockdown thrust us all into the online world and shook up our ideas of teaching pedagogy. However, this has also opened up opportunities to teach people anywhere in the world.
Ruth Armishaw’s teaching experience spans 22 years, all ages and class sizes, from individuals to large groups, including choirs and musical theatre classes. Specialising in young voices, 2020 is Ruth’s third year at Queen Margaret College, fifth year at Rata Studios School of Music and seventh year at Onslow College. In these roles, Ruth has also helped advance many teenage voices, including preparing students for NCEA performance assessments.
Ruth was the vocal tutor at Musical Stars (a musical theatre school for children) for five years till the end of 2019 and prepared the children for 5 musicals including Beauty and the Beast, Annie and The Lion King. She enjoyed leading the choirs and teaching music theory at Wellington Music Centre for 12 years. She was Co-Musical-Director for the Wellington region’s ArtSplash children’s festival for 4 years and has tutored many school choirs.
While teaching piano and singing for 5 years at Chilton Saint James’ School, Ruth taught students individually across all year-levels including primary-school children, believing that if a young child has the passion for singing and the focus to work one-on-one, a teacher can harness that without pushing the voice to develop too early.
Ruth is working towards accreditation in the Estill Voice Training Programme and has completed the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses. This a method which focuses on safely exploring a full range of vocal expression, tone and style, through learning to finely control the various structural components of the voice. While giving Ruth a deeper knowledge and versatility of her own instrument, this has in turn helped her understand her students’ voices and ways of building and fostering them.