In this article, I review the online learning platform – MasterClass.
I took multiple courses by creative professionals like Penn and Teller, Werner Herzog, Hans Zimmer and many more over the past few months.
I also shared my experience of using MasterClass and answered the verdict of “Is MasterClass worth it or not?” in the end.
So let’s dive in.
What did I like About MasterClass?
With MasterClass, I can take multiple courses while paying for one All-Access Pass. I also benefited from receiving additional workbooks along with each course to get going with the course.
The most talked-about thing about MasterClass is their instructors, who are A-grade celebrities excelling in diverse fields like cooking, sports, magic, science, and many more.
Some popular instructors include Christina Aguilera, Serena Williams, Gordon Ramsay, Hans Zimmer, and other incredible legends. I especially loved Hans Zimmer’s MasterClass on film scoring.
This article will break down the detailed review of MasterClass and everything you need to know about it in 2021. Make sure to read till the end for a complete understanding of the online learning platform.
MasterClass: An overview
MasterClass is considered the Netflix of online education. You get to learn professional courses handled by A-grade celebrities like Serena Williams, Gordon Ramsay, Anna Wintour, and many more in simple video formatted lessons that do not exceed 20 minutes per lesson.
Found in the year 2014, the online learning platform has been making big waves in enhancing the careers of thousands of users and mentoring students in all creative fields.
It has made the dream of learning from legends come true. Like, you will be able to learn from professionally qualified instructors who might as well be your inspiration.
Are you wondering if MasterClass covers all the genres of learning?
Well, you name it. MasterClass has the perfect course lined for you.
From cooking to singing to filmmaking to learning science to almost every other additional course that you might not find in schools are covered by MasterClass resulting in 100+ courses.
With HD quality videos, additional workbooks, simple tasks, and assignments, MasterClass has catered the right way to mentor a beginner in any field of interest.
This way, apart from theoretical lessons, you tend to learn practical knowledge about the course.
Who founded MasterClass?
MasterClass, as it is known and recalled by the world today, was initially registered as ‘Yanka Industries’ by David Rogier,
Later, Aaron Rasmussen, an entrepreneur, joined hands with David Rogier and decided to launch an online learning platform that anyone from anywhere in the world can access. After further discussion, in the year 2014, MasterClass was born.
The traffic on their websites instantly blew up, and they were getting several sign-ups for their courses across the world. Looking at the massive hit, MasterClass added various genres into their course list, introduced many new celebrities, and improved the quality of their courses.
MasterClass: updates in 2021 (What’s new)
The best part about MasterClass is that they are constantly updating and adapting to today’s changing world, which was notably great. In the updates, I have noticed they have:
- Added new niche courses
- Different set of celebrities
- Changes in pricing plans
- Improved video quality
Apart from that, MasterClass is being prepared about the current trends and ready to take in requests from their students and implement them in their next update right away.
So, there is no disappointment in MasterClass being outdated because you are getting a new set of course collections now and then. Also, they are constantly improving.
Who are the instructors in MasterClass?
To break the ice, MasterClass is famous for its instructors, who are celebrities worth millions of dollars excelling in different creative fields across the world. But who are these celebrities?
More than 100+ celebrities are handling diverse courses in MasterClass, from being a chef to excelling in science to featuring in a film to many other fields of a profession in the world.
Though the instructors in MasterClass are paid for each course they offer, their teaching does not seem like they are doing it for profit.
Since the count for instructors in MasterClass exceeds 100, it is impossible to cover them all, so let me quickly share some of the most outstanding instructors who cover unique courses in MasterClass:
- Kelly Wearstler – Interior Design
- Chriss Voss – The Art of Negotiation
- Matthew Walker – The Science of Better Sleep
- Salman Rushdie – Storytelling
- Bob Iger – Business
- Paul Krugman – Economics
MasterClass did not randomly select celebrities by the number of followers they have on Instagram or by the total collection of luxury cars they possess but carefully handpicked each instructor by how big they have conquered in life and their secret to stardom and success.
MasterClass: Types of Courses
MasterClass stands out in the diverse courses that they offer. There is no limit in the kind of niches they cover because MasterClass has almost covered all the niches to ever exist.
Though MasterClass has categorized 11 individual niches in the category section, there are courses considered sub-niche, which resonate with the selected category.
For example, if you take writing,
- Billy Collins “Teaches Reading and Writing Poetry.”
- Aaron Sorkin “Teaches Screenwriting.”
- Shonda Rhimes “Teaches Writing for Television.”
- David Mamet “Teaches Dramatic Writing.”
- R. L. Stine “Teaches Writing for a Young Audience.”
Though Aaron Sorkin teaches screenwriting, which falls in the Tv & Movies section, his MasterClass is about writing; hence it is categorized in the Writing category.
Likewise, there are categories by the following names:
- If you are down for country music learning, Reba McEntire has got you.
- While Christina Aguilera teaches pop music and singing, which is a fun course.
- In the mood for some beats? Timbaland teaches producing and beat-making.
- If electronic music interests you, I’d suggest courses by Tom Morello and Deadmau5 to teach Electric Guitar and Electronic Music & Production, respectively.
- There are two brilliant courses for business strategy and leadership by Howard Schultz and Bob Iger.
- Finding trouble in sales and marketing? Daniel Pink teaches Sales and Persuasion.
- I’d recommend Paul Krugman’s MasterClass on Economics and Society if you are an aspiring economist or trying to understand the subject better.
Art & Entertainment
- The perfect course for any architecture student would be Frank Gehry’s MasterClass on Design and Architecture.
- Jeff Koons teaches Art & Creativity, an exciting option if you find yourself in the art aisle.
- If digital art and graphic designing sound like your thing, then David Carson’s MasterClass on Graphic Design can enhance your skills even better.
- Something on the entertainment spectrum where David Sedaris teaches Storytelling and Humor can be taken up by young comedians.
- Battling with acceptance? RuPaul teaches Self-expression and Authenticity, which can help with self-discovery.
- If you have a knack for Fitness and Wellness, Joe Holder can teach you.
- For a calm and elevating course, Jon Kabat-Zinn teaches Mindful Meditation.
- Matthew Walker’s MasterClass on Science of Better Sleep can solve sleeping patterns and how to sleep deeply.
- If you are trying to learn Yoga, Donna Farhi can teach you better on Yoga Foundations.
Home & Lifestyle
- Turn into a BBQ chef by taking up Aaron Franklin’s MasterClass on Texas-style BBQ cooking.
- Forget junk food and learn home cooking with Alice Waters on The Art of Home Cooking.
- Fans of Middle-Eastern cuisine, Yotam Ottolenghi teaches Modern Middle-Eastern Cooking which is definitely for you.
- If you’d like to learn more than Pizza from the Italian cuisine, hop into Mossimo Bottura’s MasterClass, where she teaches Modern Italian Cooking.
How are the lessons categorized in the courses in MasterClass?
Though each course in MasterClass teaches different subjects by different instructors in different ways, MasterClass follows a consistent pattern throughout all of its MasterClasses wherein
- The lessons in a course in MasterClass can be 20-25 minutes long on average.
- The instructor takes the time to get into the course flow, which means an instructor follows the protocol of beginner’s understanding, explanation of complicated topics into laymen’s terminology, and summarizes the entire course towards the end.
- Each course comes with additional PDF formatted workbooks for students to learn better outside the course and gain in-depth knowledge about the subject.
- Students also get bonus tips and tricks laid down in the workbooks offered by MasterClass.
- Few MasterClass courses provide the feature of face-to-face interaction with the instructor.
Overall, MasterClass knows its way towards attracting its audience and making it accessible to people of all ages and experiences in educating and teaching them.
List of the best courses offered by MasterClass (Top picks)
You must be convinced to take the courses available in MasterClass with full excitement but a little confused about which one to start with, right? We have curated the list of best and most popular courses in MasterClass, which can help enhance skills and sometimes even career.
Let’s get going with the list? The following are trending courses in MasterClass:
1. Christina Aguilera “Teaches Singing”
Christina Aguilera, the pop icon in the music industry, is teaching singing.
I always wanted to become a singer, but with the bear-like voice I had, I couldn’t, but do you know that you can actually train your voice into sounding better enough to be singing pop songs?
Christina Aguilera’s MasterClass breaks down the ultimate guide on finding your voice, learning vibrato, secrets to hitting high notes, and many more excellent tips.
Her MasterClass has 23 lessons divided into sub-sections that take 4 hours to complete. She uses herself as an example and unveils the tricks that worked out for her and what did not.
I observed the right way of learning how to sing by the tips that she gave in her MasterClass.
2. Aaron Franklin “Teaches Texas-style BBQ cooking”
Aaron Franklin has come to MasterClass to teach his mouth-watering BBQ cooking, famous in his hometown, Texas. In his MasterClass, he spills all the tea about BBQ cooking in general and shares tips on cooking BBQ in his iconic Texas-style. This is what I signed up for.
The MasterClass opened a new perspective in BBQ cooking where there are many segments and segregation according to the cooking style wherein you need to learn about handling fire, smokes, offset, and grilling meat. Aaron basically covers it all under one roof, which was brilliant.
There are 16 lessons in his MasterClass, which takes 5 hours to complete fully. Honestly, I was able to learn BBQ-cooking in-depth only in his MasterClass because YouTube videos get confusing after a point.
I’d suggest you take up his course in MasterClass if you want to learn A-Z about BBQ cooking.
3. Serena Williams “Teaches Tennis”
Serena Williams is an inspiration to millions worldwide, and she is handling a course on MasterClass is unbelievable. It’s a win-win situation where you learn from a legend and acquire knowledge about the game itself.
In her MasterClass, she covers all aspects of tennis where she claims that the game is only 30% physical and you have to be mentally prepared for it, which seemed like a great tip.
The course is categorized into 10 lessons which take less than 2 hours to complete.
You can complete her MasterClass in one sitting like you are watching a live tennis match where she is teaching instead of playing. Her MasterClass can be recommended to anyone trying to build up their skills in Tennis.
4. Penn and Teller “Teach the Art of Magic”
As a kid, I doubt that if magic is real or some bluff content only to surprise the public; Penn and Teller proved me wrong through their MasterClass.
In their MasterClass, they reveal their secrets to magic which was mind-blowing to watch and also learn at the same time.
I will not open up about what I have learned, but I can drop hints on what they covered in their MasterClass. The magician duo, since the 80s, has made the perfect course for beginners into the world of magic.
17 lessons to fully understand the techniques, which can take 3 hours to finish. It’s pretty fast, but the teaching is relatively slow and easier to grasp. This way, you have enough time to learn from them.
Additionally, you get PDF formatted workbooks to exercise while you are taking the course.
5. Hans Zimmer “Teaches Film Scoring”
The man behind the world-famous background score of The Lion King has joined hands with MasterClass to share his experience as a music composer and teach his impressive film scoring.
In Hans Zimmer’s MasterClass, you learn how to score for a scene, a dialogue, or a character that was impeccable because I did not know there was more to film scoring than music composing.
With 31 long lessons, you get to learn in-depth about the diverse aspects of film scoring. It takes around 5 hours to complete his MasterClass, but trust me, and it is worth the time invested.
As a tip, he suggests his signature style of mixing electronic music with the beats of an orchestra.
There you go. The above-listed courses are my best top picks from their incredible MasterClass courses collection, which can help you get started by learning one skill at a time.
I’d recommend a schedule where you can get the most benefit out of MasterClass.
Instead of sitting on one single course all day, you can take one course for a week to complete it entirely, which means you can complete four full-fledged MasterClass courses in a month. Try this.
I am pretty sure you will productively spend the whole month using MasterClass.
Best way to find the right course in MasterClass:
The struggle to find the right course can be daunting when the platform provides so many courses in various niches and categories, and you are not sure what to choose or how to choose.
In that case, I got you covered. When starting with the courses in MasterClass even I was confused about which one to start with.
Until I found out my interest in learning a skill or the niche I am most lacking in. MasterClass has a well-structured way of categorizing their courses and also lessons in a course.
Previously in this article, I have mentioned the variety of courses that MasterClass offers. In that category, you might have got an idea of all the niches that MasterClass provides.
Now, all you have to do is choose the niches you might not have learned earlier or a niche you want to get better at.
This way, you get to categorize your field of interest based on strengths and weaknesses. For example, I know how to cook but wanted to enhance my skill in some cooking regions.
Under the Home & Lifestyle category, I got to see many courses on cooking, but I wanted to learn BBQ cooking which Aaron Franklin handled; hence I opted for the MasterClass, which was named Aaron Franklin “Teaches Texas-style BBQ cooking.”
You can try the same method that I used to learn cooking. The method can be applied to other fields of interest, but you simply have to know the niche you are picking from and how good you are.
MasterClass: Pros & Cons
Although the online learning platform can claim that they are the best among its competitors, it comes with some downsides. Let’s look at the advantages first.
- Learning directly from legends in each field of expertise.
- Advantages of taking multiple courses in a single plan.
- Variety of niches and categories to choose from.
- Provision of additional workbooks.
- High-definition video quality.
- Ease of use.
- Lack of practical knowledge in certain courses.
- No face-to-face interaction with instructors.
What makes MasterClass unique?
There are many reasons to say that MasterClass is unique. I mean, literally.
Starting with the instructors, they are professionally acclaimed legends who have mastered their skills with years of experience in work. So, you can blindly hop in with their courses.
The best part about MasterClass is the categorization of lessons in each of their courses, where they tend to teach right from scratch so that you do not miss any of the details while learning.
Apart from that, you get top-notch video quality while competitors might be losing. Also, the audio used in MasterClass courses is crisp and clear. There is no doubt about that.
Since celebrities in different creative fields handle the courses, you get to see exclusive content off paparazzi shots where the celebrity shares life outside stardom and fame.
MasterClass makes sure to update its platform with relevant courses and new celebrities constantly. I would often find myself on MasterClass’s homepage, where they religiously notify if a new celebrity is coming soon to teach you a new skill.
MasterClass: Pricing plans (Updated)
Previously, MasterClass had a single course plan that allowed access to a single course, but that was not a very appealing and appropriate budget plan; hence MasterClass took it down.
Well, now MasterClass has come up with an exciting way to catch potential students by their new set of pricing where they offer the benefit of accessing their entire course collection.
All-Access Pass is priced at the rate of $180/- per year (billed as $15/- per month).
Let me give an insight behind All-Access Pass. The plan acts as a pass that allows students to access any course they prefer to take without paying a single dollar besides paying it as a subscription.
You get the perk of paying for one and getting access to 100+ different courses on a single platform. Make sure to use the pass to your most significant advantage before the subscription runs out.
For example, I’ll share my experience using All-Access Pass. I took Aaron Franklin’s MasterClass on Texas-style BBQ cooking while also learning how to sing by taking the MasterClass by Christina Aguilera. This way, I was able to double-profit by paying for one course.
Is it worth taking MasterClass in 2021?
I don’t think you have to bring the year of a particular period into consideration because even MasterClass courses produced years ago are helping thousands of students gain knowledge and enhance their skills better now. As for me, I took another course early this year, which was great.
I did not find any changes according to the date and time, but of course, as I mentioned earlier, MasterClass is keen on updating and staying relevant to current trends, making it unique.
Also, if you are considering taking MasterClass in 2021, you can blindly step ahead and take multiple in a month and learn as many skills to boost your profile on your resume.
Finally, I have come to an end to sign off my review on MasterClass.
Frankly speaking, taking the courses on MasterClass is one of the best decisions I have taken in life.
It enabled me to learn different skills, nurtured me in finding new fields of interest, and most importantly, I enjoyed taking courses that were neatly programmed for easy understanding.
Though certain courses seemed vast and different, the instructors made sure to start from the very beginner to be understandable for students of all experience levels, which I loved.
To conclude, MasterClass is worth every penny that you are investing in, and I am a testimony to it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, MasterClass is not available for free, but there is a 30-day refund policy that can be used as a free trial.
No, you cannot download MasterClass courses.
If you are getting 100+ courses for free while paying for a course, go for it.
MasterClass comes with a subscription plan of $180/- per year (billed as $15/- per month).