I'm all for education and I think everyone should expand their knowledge as much as possible. I've also noticed recently, perhaps in part because I'm applying to grad school, that there are a lot of different offerings for master's programs. The old running joke about getting a degree in basket weaving? It's very possible that some college or university actually offers that.

Which brings me to Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy, a Canadian woman who teaches music at Seridan College in Oakville, Ontario. She recently became the first person to graduate from a Liverpool university's master's program on The Beatles. I have to wonder what would motivate her to seek a diploma on a specific band. After all, she wasn't a Beatles fanatic prior to taking her courses.

"I mean, I certainly liked their music, but I hadn't read every book ever written on them," she said Wednesday in a phone interview from Liverpool.

Zahalan-Kennedy plans to use her knowledge to teach a course on the band and will draw on music by The Beatles as well as other popular music.

Now, of course, she knows enough about them to teach a class, which she intends to do at Sheridan in the fall. Zahalan-Kennedy said she is working on an undergraduate popular music course that will draw heavily on what she learned in the program. She also stated that her work in the program wasn't all puff.

It involves much more than "just being a Beatles fan and listening to their music all day," Zahalan-Kennedy said. "It's really about history and genres of music and semiotics, which is the language of music and ... how communities are forged with different identities happening because of the way music is delivered," she said.

Personally, I think it's great that she's gone after this degree. It isn't something that would interest me enough to spend the money on a master's program, but clearly it's working for a handful of others. If you'd like to further your education, check out Midwestern State University or other colleges and universities in our area. Chances are you won't regret it.

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