Online Learning With MasterClass

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

"Learn from the worlds BEST MINDS" today. (MasterClass)

Ever since MasterClass was created it has garnered acclaim, and it is even more popular today, which is understandable. Who wouldn't want to learn from celebrities? If you are not sure what MasterClass is, don't worry I was with you just a few months ago. Do you want to learn more about the program? Keep reading. And don't forget to join me in the MasterClass community as I learn from the worlds BEST MINDS.

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A few months ago, I came across an online learning platform called MasterClass. I was intrigued about the program and began exploring it further. I got really excited about what the program has to offer and wanted to share it with others. My oldest son was at home at the time, so I went to tell him all about this cool learning program that I thought he would enjoy, only to find out he had already heard of it, and it was something he was interested in.

“Why hadn’t you ever told me about it,” I exclaimed.

Of course, he is a teenage boy and heaven forbid he should share anything with his mother. We both sat down and looked at the program closer and made plans to take some classes come summertime.

Well, summertime has arrived, and I just signed us up for some classes. We begin our learning this week!

Check out my Motivation Monday article to see our top picks.

Now, if you are like me, right now you will be saying, “Marilyn, what is MasterClass?”

If you are like my son, you will be shaking your head at me and saying, “Where have you been?”

What is MasterClass

MasterClass was founded in 2014 by David Rogier and Aron Rasmussen, in the midst of the rising online learning that took off in 2013 with the development of video e-learning platforms.

Today there are 80+ classes. Each individual class has a with a collection of 20-25 instructional videos ranging from 5-25 minutes long. The classes will be anywhere from 2-5 hours give or take. There is a suggested timeline. However, you can watch the videos anytime that works for you and as slow or fast as you want. This is a self-paced program. If you want to binge-watch the videos like a Netflix series go for it. This is your class.

This immersion style course isn’t like traditional online learning courses with tons of reading, followed by challenges, quizzes, and reports. (You are more than welcome to write up a report if you want. You will learn more that way), and it isn’t a semester-long course, either. It consists of a handful of short instructional videos with a few hours of learning.

MasterClass is more of an inspirational course. The classes are taught by some of the leading expert practitioners of their industries. You will be learning from the best and getting first-hand content about what has made them successful.

It is almost like a documentary that you get to participate in, instead of just watching. You get to learn the secrets of the top dogs and hear their stories first hand; what made them successful, what skills have they developed, what shortcuts have they learned, and what failures shaped them into who they are today. In a way, it goes back to the concept of apprenticeships where apprentices are taught the secrets of the trade from the masters.

With that said, are you going to become the next great wonder? Probably not, but that isn’t the point of the program. The point is to provide motivation and inspiration to further your own creativity and self-improvement.

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How Does MasterClass Work?

Signing up for MasterClass was pretty straight forward. Once I had registered and logged in, I went through a few steps to choose my current classes and a walkthrough on where everything is located. That was it.

At the top of the page, you have four options: Discover, My Classes, Search the Library, and a Drop-down Menu with more options. The main options I found useful are access to the community (however this seems a little on the skimpy side), available trailers for the courses, and access to articles (basically a blog). For more help, there are some useful links in the footer. This includes MasterClass live, classes, articles, and support (where you will find answers to FAQs).

To view the classes you are currently taking go to the My Classes button at the top of the menu, and it will pull up your list. You then will click on the class you want to focus on. On your class page, there will be a menu of the lesson videos, a link for the community, and a section for resources. They help you keep track of your progress by adding check marks next to the videos you have completed. The designers have done a good job keeping the process minimal so it is easy to follow.

What is included in a typical MasterClass course:

  • Instructional Videos from top experts. Most of the videos will be recordings of the instructors talking to you. Some of the videos will include demonstrations depending on the topic covered. You can watch the videos at any time, pause or fast-forward, and re-watch whenever you want.

  • A downloadable class workbook (pdf file) to supplement the videos.

  • Interactive assignments and instructions.

  • Community activities. Access the class discussion board below each video to share your thoughts and provide feedback. (Not sure how well this is used)

  • Articles for additional information.


At this time there are over 80 instructors on Masterclass, and they are always looking to expand their curriculum and repertoire. As I stated above, the instructors will be some of the greatest minds in their respective fields. There are nine categories covered including film & TV, lifestyle, writing, music and enternment, sports, and more.

Fifteen of the most popular categories and instructors are:

1. Gardening by Ron Finley

2. Cooking II by Gordon Ramsey

3. Acting by Natalie Portman

4. Scientific Thinking and Communication by Neil deGrasse Tyson

5. Art of Magic by Penn & Teller

6. Photography by Annie Leibovitz

7. Interior Design by Kelly Wearstler

8. Creativity and Film by David Lynch

9. Basketball Shooting by Stephen Curry

10. Space Exploration by Chris Hadfield

11. Producing and Beatmaking by Timbaland

13. Texas-Style BBQ by Aaron Franklin

14. Directing by Ron Howard

15. Chess by Garry Kasparov

From what I have viewed so far, the instructors put their heart and soul into the lessons. You will definitely get the best of the best, and yes they do get paid, but that is not why they are teaching these classes. David Rogier, CEO of MasterClass, says, "[the instructors] see this as a way to give back... If it was for the money, there are tons of other options." Plus, where else are you going to get access to this caliber of individuals?

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does MasterClass Cost?

At the time of this article, MasterClass is offered for $180 for one year. This is an all-access-subscription for current and future courses.

Is MasterClass worth the money?

Personally, I feel that MasterClass is worth the money. With the all-access-subscription, you can watch as many of the classes as you want, as many times as you want. If you were to watch all 80 classes in one year, that calculates to $2.25 a class, compared to other courses that can easily cost $180 for just one class this is a steal.

What type of device/browser do I need?

MasterClass is designed for internet-enabled devices, on any modern browser. You can use a Chromecast, so you can watch it on your TV. I tried it out yesterday and it worked great. If you have an Apple TV then you can use it for viewing on your television.

How long is the course?

The courses average about 2-5 hours in total. They are broken into 20-25 lessons that can range from 5-25 minutes each.

The beauty of MaterClass is it is a self-paced course. It can be as short or as long as you would like. The number of weeks for each student will vary.

Is there a free trial?

MasterClass does not offer a free trial or any other discounts that I am aware of at this time. They do have a 30-Day money-back guarantee. So you could count that as a trial run, but you will need to pay for the subscription upfront.

Can I download the videos?

If you own an iOS then you will be able to download the video lessons onto this device using MasterClass’ mobile app.

At the time of the article, it is not available for download on an Android phone. You can still use MasterClass’ mobile app on an android, but you will need access to the internet to view the content. I used the mobile app yesterday with my Android and it worked great. It makes it more convenient for me, as there are times when I will be following a four-year-old and one-year-old around.

Does MasterClass offer a certificate?

MasterClass is not an accredited school. They do not offer certificates after completing a class.

Am I able to interact with the instructor?

There may be some feedback, but it doesn’t happen often. There are live Q&A sessions held from time to time, so keep an eye out for them. This would be the best way to interact with the instructors. MasterClass does not guarantee instructor-student interactions.

Is MasterClass for you?

That all depends on your learning style. If you are more of a visual learner then yes MasterClass is for you. That is not to say that other styles of learning will not work with this program. Remember that there will not be a lot of hands-on learning unless you are willing to take what is taught and use it in your life.

It was designed for students to get training from celebrities. It is more for inspiration than anything. If you are looking for an accredited school then it will not be for you. There are no certificates available. However, it is still designed for individuals who want to learn. Yes, it is entertaining, but if you don’t want to learn something new and are only looking for a few laughs then Netflix or Disney+ might be a better option.

If you are a self-starter then MasterClass is for you. This is all self-paced. There are no check-ins, due dates, or coaching sessions. All the lessons are pre-recorded. You will need to be motivated enough to go it alone, or you can do what I am doing and make it a family affair. You can join up with a friend or family member. That way you can keep each other on the track, and have someone to share notes with.

With that said, if you have some extra time on your hands and want to make the most of that time, then give MasterClass a chance. You might be pleasantly surprised at how inspiring the lessons are, and what it will spark in you.

All in all, I believe that everyone could gain from participating in MasterClass, as long as they have the right mindset. If you have a reason to learn and be inspired, then you will enjoy your time with this program, and it will be money well spent. With a wide range of topics and teachers, there is something for each person, and they are looking to add to their curriculum all time.

Make today the day you MasterClass! Get started now.

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