On Wednesday 22nd March 2017, tragedy hit Westminster as 5 people were killed in an act of violence. More than 50 others were injured before the perpetrator was stopped. This day saw bravery and strength in huge abundance. PC Keith Palmer sadly lost his life as he ran forward to stop the attacker. Doctors and nurses ran from St Thomas’ Hospital towards the attack, without a moment’s thought for their own safety. Paramedics worked tirelessly to save the lives of those injured without wavering, despite the possibility of a second attack. And inside Westminster, a group of school children sang to lift people’s spirits.
The children were a group of 53 from St John and St Francis School in Bridgwater. They were in London on a school trip, when they found themselves caught in the middle of this frightening moment. Westminster was locked down, and they were trapped inside, unaware of the truth of what was happening just a few feet away. Instead of allowing the children to panic, the accompanying teachers encouraged them to sing. One staff member tweeted: ‘We are safe, happy and lightening the mood with a sing song.’
I find this incredibly touching. This had the potential to be a truly terrifying moment for those children. If the adults that were with them had panicked, the children could be facing many years of anxiety and fear. If the children had been allowed to panic, they would not have been given the most valuable tools they could have – how to stay calm, positive and strong. Out of the darkness, those children brought some light.
Benefits of Singing
Singing has been proven to lower stress levels and strengthen the immune system. It is a natural anti-depressant, known to release endorphins to boost your mood and help you feel good. It is a wonderful distraction technique if you are nervous, scared, or feeling a bit low. Singing is a brilliant brain trainer, known to help improve concentration, alertness, and memory. It is probably the best thing the teachers could have done for those children in that moment.