By Samone Davis
Timing is everything, and the music department at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s School of Music and Fine Arts understands that saying all too well.
During a year that has seen the 40-year anniversary of the break-up of one of the most famous bands in history, this semester the department is offering students the opportunity to take a closer look at famous performers The Beatles.
Assistant Professor Dr. Michael O’Connor is teaching the class on the groundbreaking musical group created in the 1960s in Liverpool, England.
“The purpose of this class is to show that The Beatles still have a lot to offer; there is still a lot to learn from them,” O’Connor said. “You can reject them or embrace them, but you can’t ignore them.”
They became one of the most popular, successful and critically acclaimed bands of all time. The Beatles had an impact throughout the world in many different aspects of life.
They were also trendsetters, from the way they wore their clothes to the sound of their music that created waves from the speakers of many fans all across the world.
A course on learning about The Beatles may be the most unexpected course to come to PBA, but Dr. Lloyd Mims, dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts, said, “The class was a timely course decision, due to the fact that The Beatles just had their 40th anniversary [on August 8], so it was the right time and choice to start a course for students to learn about them.”
The course will be held in a seminar setting, meaning it is based on discussions and readings about the life and legacy of The Beatles and their mark in the world.
Popular music caters to students and attracts them, O’Connor added, saying that studying about The Beatles will show the students that a band that debuted so long ago is just as fascinating as new music of today, but has way more to offer.
“The Beatles are known as markers of history, because they affected many and reflected the rethinking of generations,” O’Connor said.
Some discussions in the course will explore The Beatles’ spiritual influence and religion as well.
The class is not just designed for music majors; anyone who is interested in learning about the lessons in the legacy of this band was allowed to sign up for the class.
“I think the class will be eye-opening to an environment like PBA,” said Heather Mashburn, a student who has enrolled in the new course. “There are so many lessons to learn from The Beatles that I can’t even put it into words.”
Even though the band lasted just one decade nearly four decades ago, it is evident that the legacy still has a profound effect on the world from the universality of their music and the trademark sound that can be recognized in an instant.