Have you seen this catchy advertising of Masterclass classes and thought about trying some class in writing or negotiation? Sure, that’s why you are here. And after testing myself this service, I have decided to analyze this website and wrap it in this review. So, let’s dig in!
What Is Masterclass?
The motto of Masterclass is “Learning from the best in the world”. This is an online learning service that gives subscribers access to the video learning classes by the most renowned experts on the globe. The choice of teachers is the trait that makes Masterclass unique and distinguishes it from other services. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Bobby Brown, Anna Wintour, and Margaret Atwood are definitely the people you want to listen to and learn from.
The audience of Masterclass is more than a million students already. They provide the Netflix quality of lessons and each class has a style of mini-series, so not only are they useful, but also enjoyable to watch.
In this Masterclass.com review, you will see the purpose, advantages, disadvantages, and terms of this learning platform.
How does Masterclass.com work?
You may pay the fee ($15 per month, billed annually) for All-Access Pass to get access to all the classes or buy a separate one for $90. The choice is up to you, but for us, All-Access Pass looks like a better option if you aren’t going for one and only one particular class. It costs as much as two classes, but instead of two, you get it all. The different subjects are usually tightly entangled, so you may discover that you need more knowledge of some other disciplines connected to the one you learn. The site itself usually shows you the related classes to help with your choice. So if you aren’t adamant about the reason you are here, consider buying an All-Access Pass.
After the payment, you get (for each class)
- 20 to 40 video lessons
- 3 to 40 minutes separate class
From 20 to 40 video lessons accessible for you anytime. Each video is a separate lecture that can be from 3 to 40 minutes. The total time of all the courses is roughly the same.
Lifetime access to the course you bought, together with all the written material and other supplements.
Access to the community learning portal, where you can share the results of your work, ask for advice or even occasionally get feedback from the tutor themselves.
Each lesson has the video itself and written supplements — chapter review, some thesis points and recommended readings (you shouldn’t neglect the last part, the books advised are usually very helpful and enjoyable).
The interface and the structure of the courses are very user-friendly. The videos are short and easy to watch in one sitting, the supplements are very descriptive and you don’t need to write down something extra. The quality of the videos is marvelous (this is the best part about Masterclass) and both the desktop and the app interface are extremely easy to navigate.
Masterclass classes overview
Now Masterclass features more than 75 classes that include cooking, storytelling, filmmaking, game design, leadership, poker, writing and so on. This Masterclass review can’t cover them all, so let’s briefly check some of them.
Art of Storytelling by Neil Geiman
The course by one of the most famous American writers (Coraline, Stardust, American Gods, etc) will give you a theory, tips and moreover a push forward for your imagination and your confidence — just what you need to start writing.
This class gives you the basics of storytelling: theory, case studies, and practice. As Neil Geiman is a comic book writer, he will dedicate some lessons specifically to this topic.
Writing by James Patterson
James Patterson is an American writer, the author of lots of thrillers and detective bestsellers. Here he teaches classical writing from the first lines of the book to dialogs to suspense to end. But several lessons are telling solely about the great beginning of the story.
James is very precise about the aspects of writing and covers some very narrow topics that the other tutors may forget, such as writing with a co-author or the marketing of the book
Writing by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell is a renowned journalist and writer, the author of such famous books as The Tipping Point, Blink and What the Dog Saw, that examines the nature of humans and is almost full-fledged research in social sciences that are extremely pleasant to read.
Unlike the previous two mentioned courses, Malcolm’s approach is more scientific. He shares his insights about research, testing and interviews and other tools to make the story not only fascinating but credible.
Dramatic Writing by David Mamet
David Mamet is an American playwright and screenwriter, author of countless novels that are continuously played on Broadway. In this course, he will reveal the secrets of dramatic writing — writing stories that should be easily transferred to the stage or screen.
Dramatic writing has its peculiarities, dictated by the very genre. In addition to general writing tips, David will give you a lot of advice to prepare your text for a stage adaptation. Be ready to become ruthless to yourself and your text!
Creative Writing by Margaret Atwood
Everyone knows “Handmaid’s Tale” and “Blind Assassin”. Margaret Atwood is The Writer of the previous year and her books clearly deserve the praise not only for their plotlines but for the eloquent writing style too.
This course will make your text descriptive and let it transfer your emotions to the reader without distortion. Margaret will tell you about the texture of the prose, the importance of narrative layers and crafting plausible dialogs. She will also present several case studies to illustrate her point.
Creativity and Leadership by Anna Wintour
Anna Wintour is a world-renowned journalist and an editor-in-chief in Vogue since 1988. Some people still consider that Miranda Priestley from “Devil Wears Prada” is inspired by Anna’s image. What is known for sure is that Ms. Wintour definitely knows a lot about leadership and creativity?
This course is very precise and touches the main aspect of leadership — authority, team management, setting goals and making decisions. Anna also gives a flavor of her own experience to the course, talking about design, editing and creating brands — and showing how to succeed in this area.
Self-Made Entrepreneurship by Sara Blakely
Sara Blakely is an American billionaire businesswoman, one of the top-100 most influential people of the world and founder of her own company — the manufacturer of intimate apparel called Spanx.
Sara’s lesson is a guide for startup made from scratch: from an idea and the first prototype to marketing strategies of a company. Lots of lessons seem just a simple common sense, but it’s surprising how much people tend to forget them when it comes to their own business. The last lesson — “Survival Strategies” is a valuable addition that tells about avoiding burnout, surviving ups and downs and moving on after fails.
The Art of Negotiation by Chris Voss
Chris Voss is an American writer, professor, and businessman, but, what’s more, important for this course, he is a former FBI hostage negotiator — and a very successful one. His talent literally saved lives and he has something to say about crisis negotiations.
This course will make you familiar with techniques that are used in FBI and military negotiations, such as “tactical empathy”, “mirroring”, “labeling” and so on. The lessons are a mix of psychology, sociology and smart manipulation.
Economics and Society by Paul Krugman
Paul Krugman is a famous American economist who was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
This course will teach you the basics of economics but in a very practical way instead of terms and figures. Paul lets the students understand at once where exactly the given part of knowledge is needed and where and how it works. The lessons are very practical with lots of case studies.
Is Masterclass legit?
Absolutely. The tutors are real, their courses are also real and written by themselves. The budget of the platform allows to hire them and pay for the professional cameras to film them in the highest quality possible.
You don’t get a certificate of completion after finishing the courses, nor are you graded for it. You learn for your own good and excitement, so what you get are your new skills.
In case you are interested who is behind Masterclass — his name is David Rogier. David decided to deliver the whole new experience of online learning and this idea gathered the seed funding of more than $130 million. So, as you can see, the credibility of the project was extremely high at the very beginning, considering the number of investors interested in it.
Is Masterclass worth it?
Let’s compare it with three platforms with the most similar goals: Skillshare, Creativelive and The Great Courses.
Masterclass vs Skillshare
Skillshare is more of a community, that allows people to both create projects and teach other people how to do the same. It is a great project by itself, but the power of Masterclass is in its personalities. Skillshare allows people both to teach and to learn, while Masterclass permits only learning — but on the highest level possible.
Masterclass vs The Great Courses
The Great Courses has a more academic approach, it looks like an open university, where one can learn any subject, from science to economics to fine art. It surpasses Masterclass in terms of the quantity of the courses, but there is no such a fine selection. With The Great Courses, you will surely master the subject — but with Masterclass, you will also feel true delight doing it and enjoying the feeling of a personal talk with your tutor, the best video quality and all.
Masterclass vs Creativelive
Creativelive is a resource dedicated to fine arts mostly. There are lots of well-known journalists or photographers among the instructor, but again, the portal lacks faces that are known beyond the professional community.
Summing things up: Skillshare is exactly what is said in the name: the platform that allows people to share the skills with each other, Creativelive is an art teaching resource, great for those ready to dedicate themselves to the profession, The Great Courses follows the model of an open university with lots of courses and subjects. Masterclass has fewer courses (around 75 of them), but each of them is carefully selected, each features the highest-quality video and shares the warm atmosphere of personal talk. The courses by Masterclass can be enjoyed both by professionals and those who just want to know more about the subject (they usually start from scratch, slowly unveiling some professional secrets and nuances).
Wrapping it up
The Masterclass courses are great for those who are interested in studying a profession, or (paradoxically) for skilled professionals, who search for the tips from their more experienced colleagues. The style of the lessons isn’t academic (so those who got used to the more classical style of learning may face difficulties with them), but they are very exciting and inspiring, look like short movies and give students a necessary push towards the goal and emotional reward.
It is now the best online learning platform in its niche.
- The best video quality of all the similar learning platforms
- The tutors are professionals of world-class
- The prices are moderate ($180 yearly per all the courses or $90 per one course)
- The videos are dynamic and exciting
- Lifetime access to all the materials
- Some lessons aren’t very practical and mostly inspiring
- The fee for unlimited access is billed annually, it’s impossible to buy 3 or 6 months of it
- Despite being exciting, the lessons are not likely to be watched again (there is plenty of written material given to the students to remind them of the important points)