Woman completes the first Masters Degree in The Beatles Music History in the world!
‘All you need is love’ and a college degree? Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy is officially the first person in the world to graduate with a Masters degree in The Beatles. Originally from Oakville, Canada, she was granted her degree this past Wednesday at Liverpool Hope University, where The Beatles rock music explosion first started! The Beatles band included green celebrities John Lennon, Paul McCartey, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison and they were ready to rock the boat of the music world! Zahalan-Kennedy, a vocal performance professor at Sheridan College, first learned of the program in 2009 through the Star.com. One catch – she had to move to Liverpool for the program. She packed her bags and dove head-first into the program!
Her reactions to the experience of living in Liverpool? (via star.com)
“It really helped me understand the economic depression of Liverpool at the time,” she said. “Liverpool went from a million occupants in the Fifties to about 450,000. There was an incredible postwar impact on teenagers and technology and what people did for fun.”
Zahalan wrote an entire dissertation on the foursome, covering their musical roots, the impact on music by introducing rock as a genre, and going full-speed ahead with their vision! The United States, she cites, was consumed by their music when they hit the airwaves after a brief spot on Ray Sonin’s Radio show. What was the first song of theirs played? “Love Me Do“! The song, with its fresh beats and contagious lyrics quickly grew in popularity!
Zahalan explains the Beatles were introduced earlier in Canada than they were in the United States. She feel that due to Canada’s English roots, it was natural for them to accept them into their musical culture – it was even more exciting to see this new Rock music they were playing! The Beatles grew in strength and popularity quickly. Their music was engaging and the audiences were crazy with them. What brought their success to a halt was the violent death of group member John Lennon. Lennon, and wife Yoko Ono, were involved in controversial political movements – not everyone agreed with what they had to say. Sadly, this would change the dynamics of the band. While they would never be forgotten in the music world, they would never be quite the same.
How did Zalahan keep herself motivated as she studied the Beatles?
As a repeat college graduate, Zalahan remained motivated throughout her program with support from family and friends. She recalls her favorite band member was Paul McCartney and says the following about him,
“I know that sounds cheesy, but growing up he was my fave,” she said. “Understanding where he came from, what he accomplished and how he has endured, you can’t help but admire the man.”
In the end love, the Beatles and help from her friends helped her finish the program and gain the title of the first person in the entire world to graduate with a Masters degree in the Beatles!
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