Fab Four at U of Vic! Ya ya ya!
By Caroline Greene
More than three decades after the phase began, universities across Canada are finally succumbing to Beatlemania.
British Columbia's University of Victoria now offers a multimedia course called "The Beatles." Offered by the division of continuing studies, the course invites students to take "a magical mystery tour through the world of the most popular rock group of all time."
Teacher of the course, Greg Mittag, said students should be educated on The Beatles because of the band's enormous cultural impact on society. Mittag has been a Beatles fanatic since he was eight-years-old and has a huge collection of recordings and videotapes.
Program coordinator Janet King said the course is becoming popular on campus and among young people who weren't even alive when The Beatles were around.
The University of Toronto offers a similar course from a musical perspective. It includes a detailed analysis of recorded repertoires and assesses the Beatles' role in social settings as well as musical trends in the '60s and beyond, said Nalayini Mahesswaran, assistant to the registrar at U of T.
"Courses like these are important because The Beatles were the most significant cultural phenomenon of their time, of the present time and of any time," said Jennifer Hutchins, manager of a Toronto store named Beatle Mania. She added they were cultural pioneers of enduring achievement and initiated many aspects of the music industry such as printing lyrics on record covers. "They were also the first group to inspire world-wide mass hysteria," Hutchins added.
Although Western doesn't specifically offer a course on just The Beatles, aspects of the band are included in courses such as Music in Popular Culture, said Jeffrey Stokes, dean of the faculty of music. This course is open to all students and is specifically designed for non-music majors who don't necessarily know how to read music or play an instrument, Stokes added.