Youth Vocal Arts: Colour and Canvas

12-15 year olds

When young children sing, it is instinctive, expressive and fearless. At Rata we want to ensure every young singer feels comfortable in their voice, especially through the stage when self-consciousness tries to step in.  Welcome to the Tawa group: voice lessons for 12-15 year olds.

This course will introduce elements of vocal versatility first through experimentation, then through a methodical exploration of sound, words, rhythm, melody, tone and timbre to help students gain fine control of their voice. ‘Tawa’ students will learn and prepare a selection of songs in detail. The songs will be in varied styles and genres with opportunities for solo singing. This allows ‘Tawa’ singers to learn differences between singing together and alone. Each ‘Tawa’ student will also choose a song to learn, research and then perform as a soloist. The term will end with a short concert for the children’s families.

Course Outcomes

Tawa students will:

  • build vocal (and social) confidence in a friendly, safe, inclusive environment.
  • understand more about how the vocal instrument works.
  • learn to control their voice to show a variety expression.
  • be able to demonstrate the main differences between various musical styles and genres.
  • learn how to study a song in detail.
  • be able to understand and explain the text of songs in their own words.
  • learn group and solo performance skills.
  • participate in a performance for their families, with the group and as a soloist.

Timetable and Enrolment

Start: 13th Oct
Finish: 15th Dec NB: No Rata on Labour Weekend 20th Oct 
Saturdays (actual time tbc)
Scots College Creative and Performing Arts Centre Music Rooms
Ruth Armishaw
Target Market
Teens aged 12-15 years
(incl GST)
$180 for 1 hour lessons for 9 weeks 
enrol online


About Ruth Armishaw

Ruth Armishaw is a performing and teaching freelance musician based in Wellington. With a Bachelor of Music and a BMus(Hons) in Vocal Jazz Performance from Massey University and the New Zealand School of Music, she also holds a Performers Certificate in classical piano from Trinity College London.

Ruth’s teaching experience spans 16 years, covering all ages and class sizes, from individuals to large groups, including choirs and musical theatre classes. Specialising in young voices, she is currently vocal tutor at Musical Stars, a musical theatre school for children, and has enjoyed leading the choirs and teaching music theory at Wellington Music Centre for 11 years. Ruth was Musical Co-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. As an itinerant vocal tutor at several high schools, Ruth has helped advance many teenage voices, including preparing students for NCEA performance assessments.

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.

Our Location

Rata Studios
Based at Scots College
1 Monorgan Road
Wellington 6022
Rata Studios
Based at Scots College
PO Box 15064
Wellington 6243