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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Why Zarmina Sings: 18 Steps to Live and Learn Beyond Anxiety is a non-fiction educational text written by Therese Ayla Kravetz. The author has been an educator for years in primary schools as well as on the collegiate level for over 15 years. Many of her students are from other countries and are taking her ESL courses on writing, reading, and conversation. As well as having some challenges learning a new language, those students are also balancing the demands of family and work, and many are culturally challenged when asked to perform in a classroom setting. Kravetz utilizes her own background in drama and arts therapy to get students involved and excited in the classroom. She does that through setting them innovative assignments that include oral presentations, preparation of class lessons, and participation in performances of Shakespearean and other plays as well as teaching them relaxation methods. She provides a detailed appendix of end notes for the material presented in each chapter.
While I am not currently involved in the teaching profession, I was fascinated by Therese Ayla Kravetz' non-fiction educational work, Why Zarmina Sings: 18 Steps to Live and Learn Beyond Anxiety. I do have some background in ESL and appreciated her awareness of the cultural differences ESL students bring to the educational table and thought her solutions were creative and inspirational. I was especially intrigued by her use of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and other playwrights' works in the classroom and enjoyed reading about how her students were able to transform themselves through acting.
Why Zarmina Sings is more than a pedagogical aid, however; it's filled with anecdotes and techniques that are valuable for anyone who wants to reignite their creativity, heal old traumas, and find their own voice. I tried many of the exercises Kravetz included and plan on integrating them into my own daily schedule. Why Zarmina Sings is well-written, highly accessible, and a joy to read. The author is a gifted communicator who can instill enthusiasm both in the classroom and via her writing. Why Zarmina Sings: 18 Steps to Live and Learn Beyond Anxiety is most highly recommended.