Why Zarmina Sings

Why Zarmina Sings

18 Steps to Live and Learn Beyond Anxiety

Non-Fiction - Education
198 Pages
Reviewed on 01/09/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I am a professor, speaker and author. I struggled with panic attacks and a shy speaking voice much of my career, and yet I worked in professions such as acting and teaching where I had to speak in public. I coped by learning unorthodox tools to transform my anxiety and discovered that these same tools helped my college students with their own discomfort. The tools in this book accelerated language learning for my students and allowed me to take more creative risks in my work.

People who struggle anxiety when they speak in public or people who want to take more creative risks in their lives may enjoy the stories of my successes and failures in my book, "Why Zarmina Sings: 18 Steps to Live and Learn Beyond Anxiety."

I graduated with a degree in German and went on to act in New York and Boston before I took a full time job teaching at a community college. I have a Masters Degree in Education and studied with voice and acting coaches from all over the world.

Book Review

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.

K.C. Finn

Why Zarmina Sings: 18 Steps to Live and Learn Beyond Anxiety is a non-fiction book by author and educator Therese Ayla Kravetz. After being plagued by her own personal fear of public speaking for many years, Kravetz began to experiment with dramatic techniques as a basis for building confidence and quelling anxiety to produce a better level of personal performance and to enhance learning. This volume presents a collection of examples from Kravetz’s teaching career and personal life, in which different dramatic techniques are employed to aid students with their problems. The title’s Zarmina is one such student, afraid to put her true self forward, self-critical and anxious, until she finds a song and a voice within her. The stories are both inspirational and useful as a self-help guide to those struggling with issues of confidence.

As someone who holds an MA in Education, it’s nice to see a book about education that can be accessed by anyone of any academic level. Therese Ayla Kravetz has created a highly readable collection with a personal touch to its narrative, explaining the chemical reactions of the brain in effective terms and without overdoing the amount of information. Her central concept of ‘re-wiring’ the brain by changing techniques of voice, breath, movement, and central concentration forces students to think about themselves in a new way, dispelling anxiety and encouraging them to refocus that anxious energy into something new and productive. Why Zarmina Sings: 18 Steps to Live and Learn Beyond Anxiety is an excellent guide for both educators looking to instill confidence, and those who want to improve their own issues of anxiety and self-doubt.

Susana Pena

Why Zarmina Sings: 18 Steps to Live and Learn Beyond Anxiety by Therese Ayla Kravetz is an informative book that introduces us to simple strategies such as breathing techniques, shoulder shrugs, Brain Gym exercises, role playing, and body focusing to help combat stress build up, especially in a classroom setting. The author is a veteran teacher that suffered from anxiety attacks, and she researched different methods to help her control these negative triggers. She then introduced these helpful methods to her students in an attempt to help them become more confident and relaxed in a classroom setting. The book also highlights the struggles and achievements of some of her students and it discusses how they ultimately found their inner voice and strength. The author discusses how a relaxed and safe environment promotes a less anxious brain, which makes a student capable of learning more.

Anxiety and stress are two strong forces that plague the minds and bodies of many individuals. Learning to cope and live with these negative energies can be very challenging. The mind-body connection is very powerful; this is why negative thoughts can trigger the body to go into panic mode by causing a rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, a lump in the throat, and exaggerated feelings of fear. Why Zarmina Sings: 18 Steps to Live and Learn Beyond Anxiety by Therese Ayla Kravetz is a helpful resource that can give anxious people, especially students, the tools needed to combat fear, negative thoughts, 'what if' scenarios, and worry. It will help them to overcome stage fright and eliminate the fear of oral presentations, while injecting them with more confidence, courage, and inner peace.