BBC BREAKFAST News made a surprise visit to Hereford Cathedral School on Friday, May 8th, when it heard about the school’s stress-busting techniques to help students beat exam pressure.
Presenter Fiona Lamdin spoke to Headmaster Paul Smith about how singing can help with students’ demanding lifestyles. Mr Smith said, “Over the years we’ve been concerned about the growing stresses and strains on young people. I think it’s incumbent on all head teachers to think about how they can make their schools a happier place for their pupils. And I think singing is one way in which people can certainly benefit. Everyone has a voice and that voice is free, and it’s a free instrument we can use.”
The BBC also broadcast a big school ‘sing-off’, which involved 500 pupils and teachers out-singing each other during Friday congregational hymn practices.
Kicking off the first of two BBC Breakfast live broadcasts from Hereford Cathedral, studio presenters said: “Secondary pupils across the UK are busy revising for their exams, but as they and their parents know it can be a very stressful time.
“So what can be done to banish the anxiety that can come with their studies? One school thinks they can actually sing the stress away.”
Fiona Lamdin and her team then showed the young choristers during one of their regular rehearsals before the start of their school day. She told the nation: “That is the just the most beautiful sound, I’m actually under their spell, it’s just gorgeous.
“But this school in Hereford believes that their singing isn’t just a lovely thing to listen to but actually helps with their work, with their exams and just with their mental well-being.”
Paul Smith, Headmaster of Hereford Cathedral School, said: “Music runs through our veins here at Hereford Cathedral School and so it was marvellous to be given the opportunity to demonstrate why it is so important to us: important to pupils, staff and to the whole school community.”
Paul Smith is chairman of the Choir Schools Association this year and highlighted the benefits of singing at its Annual Conference from Monday, May 1st to Wednesday, May 3rd.