MasterClass is the celebrity-powered educational community. This platform is a bit different, as it has VIPs teaching online courses. For example, you can learn basketball from Stephen Curry, songwriting from Alicia Keys or cook with Gordon Ramsay.
This San Francisco elearning platform was founded in 2014, currently you can find about 100+ classes across 10 categories. Each class has an average of 20 lessons and each lesson around 10 minutes long.
Sounds pretty good right?
But of course, you want to know if MasterClass is something other than flashy names and superb videos. Ultimately, you want to know if you’ll really learn a craft with its courses.
To find out more, let’s get into this detailed MasterClass review.
The first thing to note about MasterClass is that its courses and lessons are fun, perhaps this is because you get to watch celebrities teaching you something you are passionate about.
After watching 10 seconds of the first video, you’ll realize that MasterClass videos have been very nicely put together. They have a very engaging cinematic aura.
Of course, a big selling point of the MasterClass is getting to learn a craft from worldwide recognized professionals. For example, Yotam Ottolenghi teaches Modern Middle Eastern Cooking or Bobbi Brown teaches Makeup and Beauty.
Generous Refund Policy
After you purchase your MasterClass membership account, you’ll have 30 days to request a refund, not bad at all.
No Free Courses
Sadly there aren’t any free courses with MasterClass, so you won’t be able to check any course before you subscribe to it.
Not The Greatest Community
Of course, don’t expect Spike Lee to (online) answer your questions about how to best set a camera for a certain scene. The instructors are the face of the class and they won’t be engaging with the community too much. This is something they should work at.
Very Few Courses
Another issue is that you won’t be able to find many courses at MasterClass, currently they have less than 100. Other platforms offer thousands for similar prices (of course not as well produced as MasterClass’)
Even if the courses have some structure and goals in place, there isn’t that much educational value. It’s more of a TED Talk (on steroids) about a topic.
Only Certain Topics
MasterClass doesn’t have the largest range of topics available. You can find courses in sports, filmmaking, cuisine, writing, business, science and politics.
Can’t Read Reviews
There is a 5-star review system for all the courses, however, you can’t really read reviews from past students. So that makes you wonder, where those reviews came from, and how come all the courses are between 4.5 to 4.7?
MasterClass Review Verdict
MasterClass is a good option for those looking to enhance already existing skills with the experience of top instructors. It certainly has more of a motivational vibe than formal educational goals. It’s also really well produced, so you’ll enjoy the lessons.
Who Is MasterClass For?
It is hard to pinpoint Who exactly MasterClass is right for?
As it’s a bit different from other elearning platforms like Coursera or LinkedIn Learning. What I would say is that MasterClass will appeal to a Professional or Enthusiast wanting to learn a particular topic or someone who is a big fan of one of its famous instructors.
As I mentioned before if you are a Professional or Enthusiast that is looking to deepen your knowledge on a specific topic like Adventure Photography or Game Design and Theory. A MasterClass class will (most likely) motivate you to keep on improving, and perhaps it’ll teach you a couple of things you didn’t know.
If you are a big fan of the instructor, it may be a good idea to watch his/her MasterClass. For example, if you are a basketball point guard and love the way Stephen Curry plays, watching his course may be eye-opening – but don’t expect to get his 3-pointer stats.
However, if you are an individual learner and looking to learn a craft from scratch, then other platforms like Skillshare, Udacity or Udemy maybe a better fit and help to fulfil your educational goals.
MasterClass for Businesses
MasterClass doesn’t only offer its classes for individual learners. You can invest in your team or business by purchasing 2o or more annual memberships for you and your employees.
MasterClass for Business can empower and inspire your team with on-demand classes, live events, customized learning paths, world-class instructors and powerful actionable insights. It is a way to provide both professional and personal development for your employees.
In short, employees love MasterClass for Business;
- Stream anytime, anywhere, at your pace
- Get inspired, 10 minutes at a time
- An immersive learning experience
- Learn from the world’s best
- 100+ Instructors across a variety of categories
- Unlimited access with your annual membership
How Much Are MasterClass Courses Really?
MasterClass works on a subscription model gives you full access to the catalog of 100+ classes across 11 categories taught by the world’s best on cooking, leadership, photography, writing and more.
- $15/month (billed annually)
The price tag for the annual membership works out at $180 per year which provides you with unlimited access to all classes and new classes as they launch.
Masterclass Subscription Access
If you do decide that MasterClass isn’t for then you are entitled to a refund within 30 days of registering. All you will need to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be given a full refund. So if you aren’t sure if MasterClass is the platform for you, then consider the first month like a free trial which can be refunded.
If you don’t want to continue with MasterClass, you can cancel your membership renewal through your account page. All you need to do is follow the prompts on the Settings page and your membership will not renew.
Note: If you cancel your membership before the end of the month, when it would normally renew, you won’t receive any refund for the unused period.
Gift a Membership
A nice feature that MasterClass is gifting the annual membership to a colleague, friend or love one. If you have someone in your life that enjoys online learning and would enjoy exploring the classes and VIP instructors on offer, then why not gift them something memorable.
MasterClass Give Annual Membership
You can add an optional gift message which will be sent via email either immediately or on a chosen date. Just like a regular membership a 30-day money back guarantee is offered if they don’t love it.
How To Open A MasterClass Account?
MasterClass makes it very easy to open an account with them. I thought it would still be helpful for you to follow a step by step.
Register with MasterClass
- Visit MasterClass.com and enter your email or sign up with Google or Facebook (see image above)
- You will then be directed to add your card information (see image below)
- Click PLACE SECURE ORDER
That’s it, it’s that easy. You will now be up and running and ready to start browsing the MasterClass catalog and enjoying the platform.
What Classes can I find on MasterClass?
MasterClass Classes are made up of 11 categories that include Food, Design & Style, Arts & Entertainment, Music, Business, Sports & Gaming, Writing, Science & Tech, Home & Lifestyle, Community & Government and Wellness. MasterClass offers 100+ classes across its categories, each class you can download and watch offline.
Masterclass classes are made up of 10 to 20 video lessons and each lesson is approximately 10 minutes long. Every month new classes are added as well as categories.
Examples Of Popular MasterClass Classes
I did a bit of research into which of MasterClass Classes are most popular among its users right now. I have hightlighted the top classes based on each category.
Food (16 Classes in total)
Yotam Ottolenghi Teaches Modern Middle Eastern Cooking – Yotam Ottolenghi creates dishes that layer color and flavor for maximum impact. He teaches you simple steps for making and mixing Middle Eastern-inspired recipes like generous platters, mezze and brunch spreads to homemade condiments and delicious vegetables. This class is 5 hours 41 minutes in total and made up of 26 video lessons.
Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking I – The seven-star Michelin chef takes you into his home kitchen to learn everything from kitchen setup and buying the freshest ingredients to constructing unforgettable dishes. This class is 3 hours 54 minutes in total and made up of 20 video lessons.
Massimo Bottura Teaches Modern Italian Cooking – Massimo Bottura is the chef of the three-Michelin-star Osterua Francescana, treats his world-renowed restaurant as a laboratory of ideas. He shares how he transforms classic, regional Italian recipes into exciting modern dishes. This class is 3 hours 46 minutes in total and made up of 14 video lessons.
Design & Style (12 Classes in total)
Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography – Annie Leibovitz was the first woman to be named chief photographer at Rolling Stone. Annie teaches you her philosophy: how to develop concepts, work with subjects, shoot with natural light, and bring images to life in post-production. This class is 3 hours 4 minutes in total and made up of 15 video lessons.
Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography – Jimmy Chin has built his career taking photos at the top of the world, he is taking you on location to teach you techniques for capturing breathtaking shots. This class is 4 hours 10 minutes in total and made up of 20 video lessons.
Bobbi Brown Teaches Makeup and Beauty – Bobbi Brown’s shares her expertise in step-by-step tutorials, using models with a range of skin tones. You’ll learn how to choose the right foundation, do a smoky eye and statement lip, and take your look from day to night. This class is 3 hours 48 minutes in total and made up of 19 video lessons.
Arts & Entertainment (61 Classes in total)
David Lynch Teaches Creativity and Film – David Lynch introduced mainstream audiences to art-house films. You will learn how he catches ideas, translates them into a narrative and moves beyond formulaic storytelling. This class is 2 hours 52 minutes in total and made up of 13 video lessons.
Jeff Koons Teaches Art and Creativity – Jeff Koons invites you to a thought-provoking conversation and the history, purpose, and pleasures of art. You will learn how to color, scale, form, and texture can help you express ideas and communicate with others. This class is 2 hours 8 minutes in total and made up of 13 video lessons.
Music (17 Classes in total)
Alicia Keys Teaches Songwriting and Producing – Alicia Keys is one of the world’s most beloved singer-songwriter winning 15 Grammy Awards and more than 40 million albums sold. She invites you to her studio to share her process for creating music built from authentic emotion. This class is 3 hours 22 minutes in total and made up of 19 video lessons.
Timbaland Teaches Producing and Beatmaking – Grammy-winning music producer Timbaland takes you behind the boards to teach you his process for creating iconic tracks. You will learn how to collaborate with vocalists, layer new tracks, and create hooks that stick. This class is 3 hours 2 minutes in total and made up of 15 video lessons.
Business (17 Classes in total)
Bob Iger Teaches Business Strategy and Leadership – Bob Iger is the former Disney CEO and has worked in the media industry for 45 years. He teaches you how to evolve your business and career, learn strategies for expanding a brand and leading with integrity. This class is 2 hours 11 minutes in total and made up of 13 video lessons.
Diane von Furstenberg Teaches Building a Fashion Brand – Diane von Furstenberg built one of the world’s most iconic and enduring fashion brands. In her first online fashion design class, she teaches you how to build a brand. This class is 3 hours 7 minutes in total and made up of 17 video lessons.
Sports & Gaming (9 Classes in total)
Stephen Curry Teaches Shooting, Ball-Handling, and Scoring – Stephen Curry teaches the shooting, ball-handling, and scoring techniques that have made him a two-time MVP. He is teaching everything he’s learned, from perfect shooting mechanics to on-court concepts and basketball drills. This class is 3 hours 41 minutes in total and made up of 17 video lessons.
Will Wright Teaches Game Design and Theory – Will Wright the mind behind SimCity and The Sims will teach you the art and science of game design. Will teaches you how to create games that empower players and unleash their imagination. You’ll develop a tool set for understanding player psychology, as well as learn Will’s approach to generating and pitching ideas. This class is 4 hours 16 minutes in total and made up of 21 video lessons.
Writing (18 Classes in total)
Issa Rae Teaches Creating Outside the Lines – Issa Rae the Emmy-nominated star and creator of the award-winning HBO series insecure. Issa shows you here signature do-it-yourself ethos, humor, and voice to offer writers and creators of all types the motivation and tools they will need. This class is 2 hours 17 minutes in total and made up of 14 video lessons.
David Sedaris Teaches Storytelling and Humor – David Sedaris has essays in The New Yorker, bestselling books like Calypso, tours and reading on NPR. David teaches you the art of personal storytelling, you will learn how to craft attention grabbing openings, satisfying endings and meaning from the mundane. This class is 3 hours 23 minutes in total and made up of 14 video lessons.
Science & Tech (4 Classes in total)
Matthew Walker Teaches the Science of Better Sleep – Matthew Walker is a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley and the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science. Matthew illuminates the science behind sleep and teaches you how to increase the quality and quantity of your sleep. This class is 3 hours 12 minutes in total and made up of 15 video lessons.
Neil deGrasse Tyson Teaches Scientific Thinking and Communication – Neil deGrasse is one of the most popular figures in modern science with his hit talk show and bestselling book. Niel teaches you to learn like a sceptic, open your mind through scientific literacy, distil data and navigate bias to discover objective truths. This class is 2 hours 14 minutes in total and made up of 13 video lessons.
Home & Lifestyle (21 Classes in total)
Ron Finley Teaches Gardening – Ron Finley is a community activist and self-proclaimed “Gangster Gardener” he teaches you how to grow your own food, keep your plants alive, and find beauty and freedom in gardening no matter the size of your space. This class is 2 hours 7 minutes in total and made up of 10 video lessons.
Brandon McMillan Teaches Dog Training – Brandon McMillian is an expert dog trainer and dedicated to building relationships between humans and animals. Brandon shares his simple, effective training system to help you develop trust and control with your dog. This class is 2 hours 58 minutes in total and made up of 15 video lessons.
Community & Government (5 Classes in total)
Doris Kearns Goodwin Teaches U.S. Presidential History and Leadership – Doris Kearns Goodwin has studied American presidents for more than 50 years. Doris will teach you leadership through the lens of U.S presidential history and shares practical wisdom and a template for honing leadership skills. This class is 2 hours 56 minutes in total and made up of 15 video lessons.
Dr Jane Goodall Teaches Conservation – Dr Jane Goodall teaches how you can conserve the environment, by letting nature win if we give her a chance. She also shares her research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. This class is 5 hours 19 minutes in total and made up of 29 video lessons.
Wellness (4 Classes in total)
RuPaul Teaches U.S. Self-Expression and Authenticity – RuPaul has transformed drag subculture into a mainstream phenomenon. Now the Emmy-winning host and performer is sharing an intimate look at his personal journey to self-realization. This class is 2 hours 1 minute in total and made up of 16 video lessons.
Emily Morse Teaches Sex and Communication – Emily Morse is the host of the long-running podcast Sex With Emily where she has made it her mission to normalize the conversation. Emily helps you learn how to identify what you want, communicate your desires, and discover new sexual adventures. This class is 1 hour 53 minutes in total and made up of 7 video lessons.
6 Tips To Find The Perfect MasterClass Course
Browse the categories
MasterClass makes it easy for you to browse its collection of courses, its 100+ classes are organized into categories.
You can find classes about Food, Arts & Entertainment, Home & Lifestyle, Writing and more.
Each MasterClass course comes with a very rounded video that is presented by the instructor of the course, they also mention what will you learn and what to expect from them.
MasterClass video presentation
I have to say that they are very convincing, candlelight short shots with haunting music and a great script. They feel more like a film trailer than a course introduction – hell, they are even called ‘Class Trailer’ (see screenshot above).
Remember, the purpose of this ‘Course Trailer’ video is to make you purchase a MasterClass account, so don’t get seduced for its swankiness and try to really assess if it’ll be the best option for you.
In addition to the Course Trailer (see the section above), there’s also a sample class where you can get a feel of how a usual lesson is. But being 100% honest, it’s very difficult to get an idea of what to expect with this sample class in a 3-minute video.
MasterClass offers 10 different class categories which include; Food, Arts & Entertainment, Home & Lifestyle, Writing, Sports & Gaming, Design & Style, Business, Music and Science & Tech.
MasterClass Class Categories
Each class category has a selection of well-recognized instructors and video lessons for you to learn and enjoy. For example the Design, Photography, & Fashion category has courses from (Diana von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, Annie Leibovitz, Jimmy Chin, Tan France, Will Wright and Frank Gehry).
MasterClass video lessons are taught by one of its 100+ VIP instructors. Many of its instructors are celebrities and world-renowned experts like Gordon Ramsey and Anna Wintour.
If you want to learn from a well recognised expert, then MasterClass really has a highly attractive pool of instructors to learn from. I would suggest that if you idolise one of MasterClasses instructors then it is definitely worth checking out one of its sample classes.
Refund your annual subscription
Since there aren’t many good ways to judge the quality of a course as MasterClass lacks a proper review system, and there isn’t a course syllabus you can check before hand. The best option you have is to purchase the the annual membership and then you can always refund it before 30-days if you are unhappy with it.