In this review of Masterclass, I give you the reasons why I thoroughly recommend Masterclass however there are some caveats to my recommendations.
Firstly I want to say that I love everything about Masterclass, it is addictive, entertaining, absorbing and now one of my most favourite pastimes. I look forward to the time when I can sit down quietly and listen to an absolutely brilliant individual inspire me to do more, to be more creative, to think in another direction, to discover the hidden secrets to creating something valuable.
From the start I want to say that Masterclass is not a place to learn short hard skills such as ‘How to write the perfect email sequence’ or ‘How to code in PHP’.
The skills you will learn in Masterclass are creative, inspirational, thinking, focus orientated, whilst most of the lessons taught are to do with the arts, many of the principles are transferrable.
Lifelong Learning is no longer a luxury but a necessity for Employment – Jay Summit
Why I Recommend MasterClass
I cannot recommend MasterClass highly enough, in fact, I want to stand on rooftops and shout it out loud, it really is that good. The whole experience of Masterclass makes learning an absolute pleasure.
In a nutshell, Masterclass is a series of Classes provided by Master Craftsmen and women. Examples of this is a Photography Class led by Annie Leibovitz an icon in her field, Cooking classes by Gordon Ramsay or a writing class by BestSeller James Patterson.
The Cambridge Dictionary describes a Masterclass as” A class taught by someone who has expert knowledge or skill in a particular area especially music’. Masterclass has expanded this area to include people with expert knowledge in many fields to include sciences, humanities and sporting skills.
The types of subjects covered in Masterclass are:
- Music including singing
- Screenwriting for TV and Film
- Producing for Film and TV
- Science and Space Exploration
- World Finance
- Chess and Poker
- Interior Design
You are literally spoilt for choice and what is really interesting a subject that you might not have been interested in for example Science becomes fascinating due to its presentation and the person in this case Neil DeDrasse Tyson teaching it.
Here is just a short list of some of the inspirational instructors.
- Steve Martin
- Diane Von Furstenberg
- Robin Roberts
- Malcolm Gladwell
- Bobbi Brown
- Anna Wintour
- David Baldacci
- Paul Krugman
- Annie Liebovitz
- Martin Scorsese
- Helen Mirren
- Gordon Ramsay
- Jodie Foster
- Serena Williams
The list goes on and each month more people are being added, the concept behind Masterclass is original and entirely brilliant.
Brand new this month is the Class from Christina Aguilera who teaches singing, just take a look below and if this snippet doesn’t blow you away, you can’t be breathing. Sure you might not want to learn singing, and many will not but the strange and kind of wonderful thing about all of this instruction is what she teaches in singing is very applicable to Voicework, to writing for voice, to writing for the screen.
Each class will lend something to another discipline.
The choices are immense and varied, with new offerings each month.
The unusual choice of classes makes the journey into this site even more exciting, the courses offered here you will not find anywhere else.
Masterclass is niche and aimed at creative and sporting individuals and is unusual and unlike any other online learning platform. It is not like Lynda or Skillshare or Teachable, it will not teach you a hard skill. It teaches you perspective, thinking skills, interpretation, visualisation, strategy, concepts, content creation, planning and so much more.
Having a MasterClass membership is like having a gym membership for the mind.
What is so unique is that the classes provide inspiration, they are in the main, creative in nature, they are not technical. They are not how to create a website or how to code but rather how to hone a creative process to produce a masterpiece
MasterClass offers classes to inspire you to investigate alternate skills such as creative writing, photography, interior design. Classes that allow for a broad understanding of world finance or Scientific theories.
The experience is likened to Netflix, each class addictive due to content and presentation. Every class is innovative, the content derived from a lifetime of doing successfully, and herein is the major differentiator. As an ordinary person, I am able to take instruction from recognised world leaders in their fields.
This is perhaps the biggest caveat, these instructors are masters of their field, the instruction is not based on theory but from experience.
The entire ambience once inside the MasterClass website is just so intriguing, so enticing, there is literally wave upon wave of fascinating content.
On becoming a member for the first time I felt like a Kid at Christmas time. Each class a shiny new toy, so much choice and so many diverse subjects that for moment concentration is lost.
Each subject current with techniques and knowledge learnt over a lifetime and applicable to the world in 2020.
Subjects including Gardening, Tennis, World Finance, Politics, Science, Photography, Lifestyle, Marketing, Cooking, BasketBall and Tennis and so much more.
New courses and instructors are added each month, there is no shortage of learning opportunities.
It is such a wonderful experience to sit, listen and watch these highly talented people speaking directly to me. I am alone with them and their wisdom, hard-fought over a lifetime.
They impart knowledge not found in books but found in the practical application of their craft.
Most learning is had from teachers who have been taught to teach a subject that they, in turn, have learnt from books. The Teachers inside MasterClass are people who have learnt from decades of doing and being successful at their crafts.
It is such a privilege to learn from these celebrities who are acclaimed world leaders in their field. Each Class is unique and every presentation different synching with the character of the presenter.
However, one overriding trait of all the classes is the exceptional quality of the video content produced.
Who Created MasterClass?
Commit Yourself to Lifelong Learning. The Most Valuable Asset is Your Mind and What You put into it. – Brian Tracy
MasterClass is the brainchild of entrepreneurs David Rogier and inventor Aaron Rasmussen who launched the platform in 2015.
They had the genius idea to invite some of the most brilliant minds and brains of world leaders in their fields to share their experiences on a uniquely visual platform. These experience form instruction and inspiration for new students.
It is because of their successful careers each instructor is able to deliver individually unique insights into their particular field of expertise. This type of information is extremely rare and therefore valuable as it originates from experience, rather than theoretical learning.
How Much Does MasterClass Cost?
A Years membership will cost you $180.00 which is obviously not cheap, but well worth it. Quite often you will find MasterClass running a special where you can buy one membership and get two Access Passes. I honestly don’t think you can put too high a price tag on learning.
Masterclass has grown to include 80+ world-famous instructors and is adding more each month. This month Christina Aguilera and Usher have joined the platform.
You can take courses in Gymnastics, Netball, Italian cooking, playing the Violin, mastering Chess or crafting a new movie script. The choices are so varied and constantly changing, MasterClass is set to become a part of your life.
How is MasterClass Structured?
There are three main parts to each Masterclass.
a. Video Presentation. Many of the Classes offer 3-5 hours of video content sectioned in 20 -25 classes. The great news is the classes are bite size so you can easily fit these into your daily schedule. MasterClass will always remember where you got up to and bookmark it making it easy to rejoin at the right stage.
b. A Workbook. Like everything else inside MasterClass the workbooks too are beautifully presented and offer, further notes and summaries as well as practical homework.
c. Community. You can share your work, join discussions and connect with other students on the HUB. This could lead to creating collaborative projects and forming new associations.
These are indeed quite beautiful, the photography, camera work, lighting, musical soundtracks and audio is of superb quality. Instantly making all content unmissable.
The length of the videos range from 5 mins to 20 so you can easily watch a class during lunch or on your commute to work. These videos offer far better use of your time than scrolling Facebook or instagram.
MasterClass offers Quick lists which suggests other classes you may be interested in and a short intro into these classes. So you get to peep inside many classrooms, to see which fits you best.
These are beautifully presented and offer links to further reading, and completely summarise each class, so there is no need to take notes. Further reading and links are offered and at the end of each class, an assignment is given.
Some of the classes demand practical assignments as part of the course, a good way of fully understanding and remembering the instructions. These assignments can be shared and discussed in the Hub.
MasterClass has created a space called The Hub and this is where you can interact with others on the same course. The interaction is dependent on the type of course taken.
You may be able to upload newly created photos, a piece of writing or a treatment for a TV series.
Join in an analytical discussion or practice a skill with other members.
My MasterClass Journey
When I first got my ‘All Access Pass‘ I spent ages just looking around and then selecting some of my first Classes. I subscribed to at least 12 and these covered hugely diverse subjects from World Finance to Photography.
Each and every course just looked so enticing, it was hard to choose and hence I wandered into many classrooms each one offering something unique. I think it is this journey into each class that inspires and begs questions that result in surprising answers.
It is what is discovered unintentionally purely by listening to someone who is a wizard on their subject. I am certainly the least boffin like individual but the classes presented by John Krugman on world finance were too good to miss.
Given the world situation, I thought finance might be a good subject to try and understand. There are a few classes here that I think might help with leading us out of the pandemic and create a better future for this world and these are Dr Jane Goodall on Conservation, Neil deDrasse Tyson on Science and Robin Roberts on Communication.
At the moment I am really hooked on Annie Liebovitz, I just love the way she presents. She speaks simply and authentically, her teachings or thoughts are honest and to the point and produces ‘aha’ moments.
When you realise that acting and communication is much more about listening than it is talking, it is an ‘aha’ moment. Annie encourages us to find a story or some meaning on what you are photographing. Discover and think about what are you trying to say.
It’s the asking of the right questions that leads to the artistic answers. The lessons are littered with examples of her work which of course inspires. It is these images that engender a real passion to learn from this craftswoman and listen to her every word.
Once you are inside you will be asked to take a look around and choose a number of lessons. This can be quite daunting as the choices are so varied and each one looking better than the one before.
You can watch a short introduction such as Diana Von Furstenberg on Fashion here
I started with Annie Liebovitz, one of the worlds most esteemed photographers, who began her career for ‘The Rolling Stone’ magazine whilst still studying.
You will see from the screenshot below that an overview of the lessons incorporated in her course are outlined to the side of the picture.
Once you sign and join up and have chosen some classes, you are then given ‘Quick Lists’. which are much like Netflix’s recommendations. Because you have watched this, try these.
This is how Masterclass describes Quick Lists. ‘Quick Lists are a way for you to explore the entire catalogue and learn from more instructors. Hone a specific skill with a focused Quick List or discover a creative thread that runs through different topics‘.
Every course provides its own workbooks which are beautifully presented and underline and summarise what has been said in each lesson. Often links are added within the text for further reading and sometimes exercises are prescribed for participants This is great as it takes the learning and makes it practical.
At the bottom you will notice that people comment on the particular lesson or alternatively you can join the Hub to discuss the assignment given.
There is a place where you can join or network with other students that are interested in the same fields. Perhaps you could write a screenplay together or start a business or fashion range. The opportunities are endless, even get your projects reviewed by your peers.
I could probably write about this platform endlessly as it enthuses me so, however, for now, I will end this article by saying that without hesitation I thoroughly recommend Masterclass.
For me not only has it opened a whole new window into learning, and one which I will continue to use daily as it is just so addictive. It provides me with extremely wise points of view that I can incorporate into my writing and into my outlook generally.
To summarise, it is not a platform for learning hard skills. However, far more than just a skill is learnt here. The instructors speak their wisdom and inspire, enthuse and generously share their years of professional experience as icons in their fields with us their students. Masterclass explodes the mind and brilliantly illuminates the creative flow of ideas and creativity, I love it.
Please note this post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, though I only promote products or programs I believe in.