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Last update: Apr 29, 2024

My Top 10 Picks: The Best MasterClass Classes

Don't Miss Out On My 2024 Choices

Best MasterClass Classes
Photo of Catherine Cooke

Written by

Catherine Cooke

Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise Advisor

I'm Catherine, originally from London, now living in Spain. My professional journey led me from being a certified teacher to a yoga instructor and then a freelancer designer. These changes were made possible by online learning platforms like Skillshare and Coursera. It wasn't always easy, but so worth it and inspired me to start Upskillwise.

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I’ve had an annual subscription to Masterclass for the last couple of years now, I’ve really enjoyed exploring the MasterClass platform and its classes, from cooking to design, music and more. It really doesn’t get old, being able to learn from the best in the business from the comfort of your own home.

In fact, my enthusiasm for Masterclass has even led me to gift the annual subscription to my husband and a couple of friends, who are all big fans. And without realizing it, it’s become a shared learning experience, inspiring the next classes we choose.

My Top 10 Picks: The Best MasterClass in 2024

After thoroughly enjoying a variety of classes, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 Masterclass offerings that I believe stand out the most. This list reflects not only the quality and diversity of the courses available, but also includes those that have personally inspired me or opened up new perspectives. Whether you’re looking to spark your creativity, improve your professional skills, or simply explore a new hobby, these classes are a great starting point.

1. Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography

MasterClass Annie Leibovitz Photography
MasterClass Annie Leibovitz Photography

Kicking off my top ten list is the Annie Leibovitz MasterClass, I’ve always had a passion for photography but was never sure on how to get started. From the very first video class, it felt like stepping into a realm where every snapshot tells a story. Annie doesn’t just teach; she invites you into her studio and onto her shoots, sharing her profound knowledge of portraiture with a personal touch that’s both engaging and enlightening. The class isn’t the biggest commitment, just over three hours, comprising 15 video lessons, this MasterClass didn’t just teach me about photography—it inspired me to see get out there and start taking my own photographs.

Visit Annie Leibovitz MasterClass

2. Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking

Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking
MasterClass Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking

Next on my list is the Gordon Ramsay MasterClass, a favorite for anyone who shares my passion for cooking. Gordon’s class has genuinely transformed the way I approach the kitchen, teaching me to elevate my culinary skills with essential techniques, ingredients, and standout recipes.

The journey starts right in Gordon’s kitchen, where he outlines what he plans to teach in the MasterClass. From the perfect kitchen layout to the art of mastering vegetables, herbs, fish, and shellfish, each of the 20 video lessons focuses on a different aspect of cooking. Totaling nearly four hours, this MasterClass isn’t just educational; it’s a culinary adventure that has enriched my home cooking and been a big hit for when I host dinner parties.

Visit Gordon Ramsay MasterClass

3. Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting

Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting
MasterClass Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting

Continuing with my top picks, the Aaron Sorkin MasterClass on screenwriting is a joy, especially for myself, who’s a big fan of his films and shows. Aaron, an Academy Award-winning writer, delves deep into the nuances of film and television screenwriting, offering all his personal insights.

Across 35 video lessons totaling over eight hours, Aaron shares his expertise in crafting compelling stories, from developing sharp dialogue and rich characters to what makes a script sell. Each session is packed with insights that resonate deeply with me, enhancing my understanding and appreciation of screenwriting. This class isn’t just educational; it’s a deep dive into the art of storytelling that I’ve found truly inspiring.

Visit Aaron Sorkin MasterClass

4. Neil Gaiman Teaches The Art of Storytelling

Neil Gaiman Teaches The Art of Storytelling
MasterClass Neil Gaiman Teaches The Art of Storytelling

Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass on the Art of Storytelling is a standout in my collection, and as a long-time admirer of his work, diving into his creative process has been a real treat. In 19 video lessons, totaling just over four and a half hours, Neil opens up about how he conjures up fresh ideas, crafts believable characters, and builds immersive fictional worlds.

He starts with an introduction that shares his passion for teaching and his hope that we, too, can tell stories that resonate deeply and have true significance. Each lesson, from exploring Truth in Fiction to Finding Your Voice, has not only deepened my understanding of storytelling but also inspired me to think more creatively about my own writing. Neil concludes with a powerful discussion on the responsibility of creating art for an audience, making this class a profound journey through the landscape of narrative creation.

Visit Neil Gaiman MasterClass

5. Werner Herzog Teaches Filmmaking

Werner Herzog teaches filmmaking
MasterClass Werner Herzog teaches filmmaking

Halfway through my top 10 list is Werner Herzog’s MasterClass, a deep dive into the world of filmmaking. As a celebrated director with over 70 films and 50 awards, Herzog brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to the table. His class covers a broad spectrum of topics, from storytelling and scriptwriting to the practicalities of location scouting, self-financing, and even negotiation skills.

The initial lessons focus on the art of storytelling and the fundamentals of writing a script, which I found incredibly enriching given my interest in the behind-the-scenes aspects of film. The subsequent lessons, which include financing your first film and leading a film crew, have opened my eyes to the complexities and challenges of the filmmaking process. Totaling nearly six hours and consisting of 26 video lessons, Werner Herzog’s MasterClass has not only broadened my understanding of cinema but also deepened my appreciation for the craft of filmmaking.

Visit Werner Herzog MasterClass

6. Herbie Hancock Teaches Jazz

MasterClass Herbie Hancock Teaches Jazz
MasterClass Herbie Hancock Teaches Jazz

Next up on my list is Herbie Hancock’s MasterClass, I’ve always loved playing his music when having a chilled Sunday afternoon and was curious to know how he composed his music. Herbie began his musical journey in his family’s living room and has ascended to become one of the most renowned jazz musicians globally. His class offers an intimate look into his methods of improvisation, composition, and harmony.

The video lessons, totaling just over four hours and comprised of 25 segments, cover a wide array of topics, from the essentials of piano basics to the nuances of improvisation and learning music by listening. Each lesson feels like a personal session with Herbie, as he shares his rich experience and insights, helping to enhance my understanding and appreciation of jazz music. This MasterClass has not only deepened my knowledge but also inspired my musical explorations.

Visit Herbie Hancock MasterClass

7. James Patterson Teaches Writing

MasterClass James Patterson Teaches Writing
MasterClass James Patterson Teaches Writing

Continuing my journey through MasterClass, I delved into James Patterson’s course, intrigued by his reputation for crafting 19 consecutive No.1 New York Times bestsellers. His MasterClass would appeal to anyone interested in the art of writing. Patterson teaches how to create vivid characters, write compelling dialogues, and construct plots that keep readers eagerly turning pages.

In just over three and a half hours, spread across 22 video lessons, he covers everything from nurturing writing as a passion and habit, to developing raw ideas, doing effective research, and plotting your story. This being his first online writing class, Patterson guides you meticulously from the inception to the completion of your book. His practical advice and engaging teaching style have not only improved my writing skills but have also motivated me to approach my writing projects with renewed vigor and discipline.

Visit James Patterson MasterClass

8. Hans Zimmer Teaches Film Scoring

MasterClass Hans zimmer teaches film scoring
MasterClass Hans Zimmer Teaches Film Scoring

Hans Zimmer’s MasterClass, was one I was curious to watch, as a self-taught Academy Award-winning composer, Zimmer brings a unique perspective to music creation. In his class, he opens up about his method for crafting sounds from scratch, developing memorable character themes, and even composing music for films before he’s seen them.

Spanning 5 hours and 40 minutes with 31 video lessons, this MasterClass covers a wide range of topics. From creating thematic elements to working with directors and scoring under dialogue, each lesson is packed with insights that only a composer of Zimmer’s caliber could offer. This class has not only deepened my understanding of the complexities of film scoring, but has also immensely enriched my appreciation for the intricate relationship between a movie’s score and its narrative.

Visit Hans Zimmer MasterClass

9. deadmau5 Teaches Electronic Music Production

MasterClass deadmau5 Teaches Electronic Music Production
MasterClass deadmau5 Teaches Electronic Music Production

Diving into deadmau5’s MasterClass, also known as Joel Zimmerman. He is best known for his sound innovation and distinctive style, Joel brings his expertise to the table, guiding learners through the intricacies of crafting melodies, mixing, and mastering to create unique sounds.

This MasterClass, which lasts 5 hours and 24 minutes across 23 video lessons, spans a broad spectrum of music production topics. Joel covers everything from music theory to building your home studio, developing melodic structures, and even how to structure songs and create remixes. Engaging with his lessons has not only given me a deeper insight into electronic music production but has also sparked my creativity in experimenting with new sounds and techniques in my own music projects.

Visit deadmau5’s MasterClass

10. Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and Leadership

Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and Leadership MasterClass
MasterClass Anna Wintour Teaches Creativity and Leadership

Rounding off my top 10 MasterClass experiences is Anna Wintour’s course, where she, the iconic Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, offers unprecedented insights into her world. Known for her decisive and visionary leadership, Anna teaches how to lead with creativity and conviction, without apology. This course is particularly special to me as it combines my interests in fashion and strong leadership.

Her MasterClass starts with personal anecdotes about her early experiences that shaped her leadership style, providing a rare glimpse into her journey. The course, which is 2 hours and 36 minutes long and consists of 12 video lessons, also includes a virtual tour of her Vogue office and practical advice for aspiring talent and designers on how to make their mark in the competitive world of fashion. Engaging with this MasterClass has not only inspired me with a deeper understanding of fashion journalism but also reinforced my appreciation for leadership that champions creativity and innovation.

Anna Wintour MasterClass