We live in such a wonderful time when everyone has a chance to learn from the most powerful masters in the world! We have access to experience gained by years and have an opportunity to acquire new skills learning from such visionary leaders as James Cameron, Bobbi Brown, Gordon Ramsay, and many others. It is a global trend to get new knowledge, so why not get this knowledge from the best?

What if you could learn to make films like James Cameron, or start cooking like the seven-star Michelin chef Gordon Ramsay? Sounds amazing! It is your chance to unlock your potential and acquire new skills to start a business, get a new job, or simply achieve a new level of life.

So, I’ve analyzed hundreds of MasterClass classes reviews provided by its customers through their feedback in the comments, tweets, and social media posts to find out the most helpful and most practical masterclasses to share with you.

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What is a MasterClass?

In case you haven’t been targeted by MasterClass ads yet, it is a streaming platform that allows everyone to get access to online classes provided by the greatest leaders. The company was launched in 2015 by David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen with a couple of classes and has grown considerably to hundreds of classes covering a wide range of subjects such as writing, business, cooking, art, wellness, science, and more. The initial funding of MasterClass was $4.5 million and they raised $240 million of the total funding by 2021.

Who are the MasterClass instructors?

MasterClass is well-known by its instructors who are celebrities and well-known business leaders. MasterClass instructors make this company concept unique and attractive for millions of people. So, just take a look at the list of 20 best MasterClass instructors who can become your mentors:

  • Alicia Keys
  • Neil Degrasse Tyson
  • Timbaland
  • Gordon Ramsay
  • Anna Wintour
  • Bobbi Brown
  • James Cameron
  • Judy Blume
  • Margaret Atwood
  • James Patterson
  • Issa Rae
  • Steve Martin
  • Annie Leibovitz
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Aaron Sorkin
  • Gary Kasparov
  • Ron Finley
  • Shonda Rhimes
  • Daniel Negreanu
  • Aaron Franklin

15 best masterclasses ranked to acquire new skills in 2021

Best masterclass for cooking

1. Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking: Restaurant recipes at home

Gordon Ramsay cooking masterclass

The seven-star Michelin chef Gordon Ramsay allows getting a new dining experience that will help you to wow your guests. He teaches how to prepare 13 restaurant dishes using everyday ingredients and learn how to design them to impress your guests.

Masterclass duration: 15 videos, 4 hours 14 minutes in total

What is inside the cooking masterclass:

  • Red Wine Poached Egg, Asparagus, and Mushrooms
  • Crispy Duck with Red Endive and Spinach
  • Pomme Purée
  • Cauliflower Steak, Olives, and Mushrooms
  • Rack of Lamb with Thumbelina Carrots
  • Roasted Eggplant With Basil and Feta
  • Grilled Baby Leeks, Miso Broth, and Caviar Vinaigrette
  • Szechuan Roasted Whole Chicken
  • Hoisin Chicken and Pickled Daikon
  • Szechuan Chicken Breast and Udon Noodles
  • Sesame Crusted Tuna With Cucumber Salad
  • Fried Branzino With Thai Chili Lettuce Cups
  • Raspberry Soufflé

Best Directing Masterclass

2. James Cameron teaches directing

James Cameron masterclass

James Cameron has directed such Holywood movies as Titanic, Avatar, Terminator, and more. And it is for the first time when James Cameron shares his experience with the audience and you can’t miss this chance. Learn about the creative thinking, innovation, and technological aspect of the epic moviemaking process.

Masterclass duration: 15 videos, 3 hours 20 minutes in total

What is inside the directing masterclass:

  • Pursuing and Developing the Idea
  • Toying With the Audience: Building and Releasing Tension
  • The Art of Low-Budget Filmmaking
  • From Sketch to Spectacle: Creating Set Pieces
  • Crafting and Introducing Compelling Characters
  • Developing Dread Through Adversaries
and more.

Best masterclass for writing

3. Judy Blume: Get professional writing skills

Judy Blume masterclass

Judy Blume is famous for her children’s books sold to 85 million people around the world. Her writing masterclass is a treasure for writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and everyone who would like to master their writing skills. Judy Blume teaches how to create stories and realistic dialogues that people will remember and love.

Masterclass duration: 24 videos, 4 hours 50 minutes

What is inside the writing masterclass:

  • Finding ideas
  • Creating Memorable Characters
  • Writing Dialogue
  • Creating Plot Structure
  • Judy’s Writing Process
  • Getting Ready to Submit
  • Working with Editors
and more.

Best masterclass for photography

4. Annie Leibovitz teaches photography

Annie Leibovitz masterclass
Annie Leibovitz is a legend in the photography industry. She was the first chief photographer, and it is for the first time she shares her experience with people. And Annie’s photography masterclass is one of the most practical, so it cannot be missed out on by anyone interested in mastering the skills of making professional photos.

Masterclass duration: 15 videos, 3 hours in total

What is inside the best photography masterclass:

  • Portrait Photography
  • Creating Concepts
  • Working With Light
  • Working With Your Subject
  • Photographing People Who Are Close to You
  • The Technical Side of Photography
and more.

Best masterclass for business

5. Chris Voss masterclass: The art of negotiation

Chris Voss masterclass

MasterClass classes reviews have shown Chris Voss’ masterclass to be one of the best on the platform. Chris Voss is known as an FBA negotiator and the master of persuasion. He teaches the power of growing negotiation skills to use in business and everyday life.

Masterclass duration: 18 videos, 3 hours in total

What is inside the negotiation masterclass:

  • Tactical Empathy
  • Exercise: Mirroring and Labeling
  • Body Language & Speech Patterns
  • The Value of “No”
  • Bargaining
and more.

Best masterclass for screenwriting

6. Aaron Sorkin masterclass on screenwriting

Aaron Sorking masterclass

Aaron Sorkin is famous as a screenwriter in such movies as The Social Network, The West Wing, and A Few Good Men. His masterclass helps to learn the art of storytelling, character development, and writing screenplays. This class will be interesting not only for filmmakers but also for everyone who would like to master writing skills and learn how to use writing skills for engaging the audience.

Masterclass duration: 35 videos, 8 hours in total

What is inside the screenwriting masterclass:

  • Incorporating Research
  • Rules of Story
  • Writing Habits
  • Group Workshops
  • Writing Scenes
  • Writing Captivating Dialogue

and more.

Best makeup masterclass

7. Bobbi Brown teaches makeup and beauty

Bobbi Brown masterclass

With the current temp of life, it is crucial to do everything fast and look pretty. Bobbi Brown teaches how to do a quick natural makeup that will underline your individuality. It is a practical masterclass with step-by-step tutorials teaching the art of modern makeup to shine with confidence.

Masterclass duration: 19 videos, 3 hours 48 minutes in total

What is inside the best makeup masterclass:

  • The Changing Face of Beauty
  • Color and Makeup
  • Using Tinted Moisturizer
  • Bronzer and Blush
  • Creating a Statement Lip
and more.

Best masterclass for acting

8. Samuel L. Jackson teaches acting

best online acting masterclass

Samuel L. Jackson is an Oscar-nominated actor who played roles in more than 100 films. His invaluable experience has been packed into an online acting class that gives an opportunity to learn to create powerful performances, analyze scripts and create memorable characters. So, this masterclass is for everyone who would like to master acting skills and get insights from the skilled master of cinematography.

Masterclass duration: 21 videos – 5 hours in total

What is inside the best acting masterclass:

  • Creating characters
  • Physical Characterization
  • Voice and Character
  • Working with directors
  • Enriching your acting practice
and more.

Best chess masterclass

9. Garry Kasparov masterclass on chess

Garry Kasparov masterclass

Garry Kasparov is the six-time world champion in chess. His strategies allowed him to win the strongest competitors and become the youngest champion of all time. Gary Kasparov shares his philosophy and advanced tactics for everyone to understand this game deeper. If you ever wanted to become a strong chess player this masterclass is the perfect chance for you.

Masterclass duration: 29 videos – 7 hours 20 minutes in total

What is inside the chess masterclass:

  • Gary’s chess fundamentals
  • Double Attacks
  • Skewers
  • Discovered Attacks
  • Pins
  • Case Studies
and more.

Best Poker masterclass

10. Daniel Negreanu masterclass on poker

Daniel Negreanu masterclass

Daniel Negreanu is the person who will teach you not only to play but to win in poker. He is one of the well-known champions and leaders whose advanced tactics helped him to stay ahead in this game for years. Daniel’s masterclass covers step-by-step lessons on how to analyze the position, and which strategies to use in different situations to win and make money.

Masterclass duration: 38 videos – 7 hours 40 minutes in total

What is inside the poker masterclass:

  • Understanding Position
  • Hand Ranges and Board Texture
  • Ranges: Hand Review
  • Game Theory and Math
  • C-Betting
and more.

Best guitar masterclass

11. Tom Morello masterclass on electric guitar

Tom Morello masterclass

“I trust the music.” – Tom Morello

Tom Morello is an American guitarist who is famous as a member of such bands as Audioslave and Rage Against the Machine. He was also named the greatest rock guitarist of all time and now he is ready to share his knowledge and experience through his guitar masterclass. And this online class helps to understand how to use improvisation and find your unique musical style.

Masterclass duration: 26 videos – 5 hours 34 minutes in total

What is inside the guitar masterclass:

  • Developing Your Creative Voice
  • Riffs
  • Gear: Pedals and Effects
  • Tones and Sounds
  • Practice
  • Improvisation
and more.

Best producer masterclass

12. Timbaland masterclass on producing and beat-making

Timbaland masterclass

Who else can teach you producing better than Grammy-winning Timbaland? Learn more behind the scenes of Timbaland’s work with stars like Beyonce, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, and others. Master the art of collaboration with vocalists and learn how to layer new tracks.

Masterclass duration: 15 videos –  3 hours in total

What is inside the producing masterclass:

  • Studio Session: Making a Beatbox Beat
  • Building Beats: Tim’s Process
  • Making a Beat: Getting Warmed Up
  • Making a Beat: Tweaking and Layering Drums
  • Song Origins: “Gossip Folks”
and more.

Best masterclass on communication

13. Neil Degrasse Tyson masterclass on communication and scientific thinking

Neil Degrasse Tyson masterclass

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American scientist and a well-known book author who popularizes science around the world. He allows diving deeper into the basics of scientific thinking and explains how his approach is used to run effective communication. MasterClass customers’ reviews have shown that Neil’s class is one of the most impressive and thought-provoking on the platform.

Masterclass duration: 13 videos –  2 hours 14 minutes in total

What is inside the communication masterclass:

  • The Frontier of Science
  • The Scientific Method
  • Cognitive Bias
  • Beware of Cultural Bias
  • Scientific Measurement: Calculating the Incalculable
and more.

Best masterclass on out-of-the-box thinking

14. Issa Rae masterclass on creating outside the lines

Issa Rae masterclass on creativity

Issa Rae is a well-known American producer and actress. She is also a talented writer and she got world recognition after being a co-writer in the HBO series Insecure. Issa Rae’s masterclass is dedicated to the development of creativity skills as well as motivation and resources need for true creators.

Masterclass duration: 14 videos –  2 hours in total

What is inside the creative writing masterclass:

  • Finding Your Voice & Inspiration
  • Developing Your Story
  • Creating Characters Grounded in Reality
  • Getting Your Stories Out There
and more.

Best leadership masterclass

15. Doris Kearns Goodwin teaches leadership

Doris Kearns Goodwin masterclass on leadership

Learn how to become a true leader by analyzing American presidential history with one of the greatest historians Doris Kearns Goodwin. Doris teaches how to develop the best leadership skills and guide the team as an extraordinary leader. This class is a must-watch for entrepreneurs, managers, and small business owners.

Masterclass duration: 15 videos –  3 hours in total

What is inside the best leadership masterclass:

  • How People Become Great Leaders
  • More Important Than IQ: Emotional Intelligence
  • Successfully Leading a Team
  • Forging Key Partnerships
  • The Importance of Relaxing and Recharging
and more.

Frequently asked questions about MasterClass 

1. How MasterClass works 

The MasterClass is a subscription-based platform giving its members unlimited access to all the classes available. The new classes are added to the platform regularly. Each masterclass is a combination of short video lessons with three to ten hours duration in total.

2. How much does MasterClass cost?

MasterClass costs $15/month paid annually. So, to get access to the MasterClass platform you need to pay a one-time payment of $180 that gives one year of access to all the classes on the platform.

3. Can you buy a single MasterClass?

No. Some time ago they gave a chance to buy a single masterclass, but now there is only one option to buy a yearly subscription.

4. Does MasterClass provide a free trial?

No. Currently, there is an opportunity to get access to MasterClass for free. Nevertheless, customers are always backed up by a 30-day money-back guarantee. And in case you don’t like the service, you always have a chance to request a refund.

5. What are the best MasterClass alternatives?

Looking for companies similar to Masterclass? Top 3 e-learning platforms are offering both free classes and paid ones that you could consider for getting new skills:

  • Udemy vs MasterClass

udemy

Udemy is an e-learning platform with a variety of courses covering different spheres and different levels. Unlike Masterclass, Udemy allows selecting the level of the course you would like to join. It means that if you would like to go deeper into the sphere you can select the course with a higher level.

How Udemy works: Udemy offers many online courses that can be joined separately. One of the biggest advantages of Udemy is lifetime access to the paid courses. It means that once you pay for the course you are not limited in time and can take it whenever you want. Some of the courses are regularly updated which allows you to have fresh content with no additional payment.

The instructors: everyone who has some knowledge in a particular field or just a desire to sell an online course can join the platform and sell their product. It means that the quality of the content can also vary from different instructors. It is recommended to read the reviews from course students before making a purchase.

The quality of the video content: the requirements for the videos and presentations are not very high and such content is not thoroughly checked. So, the video course quality can be also different depending on the instructor’s approach and professional skills.

Pricing: Paid / Free

  • Coursera vs MasterClass

coursera vs masterclass

Coursera also offers a wide selection of courses from professional instructors and world universities. Most people love this e-learning platform for a variety of specializations and technical courses, while MasterClass is more for developing creative and soft skills.

How Coursera works: You can join each course you love separately and buy it or get access to it for free. By the way, Coursera always offers a list of new courses depending on your history of learning.

The instructors: Coursera is considered to be a more professional e-learning platform with highly professional courses from universities. Additionally, it allows getting a university certificate (though this option is usually a paid one)

The quality of video content: The quality of video content is high, professionally designed, and localized for different languages.

Pricing: Paid / Free

  • Lynda vs MasterClass

Lynda vs MasterClass

Lynda is a professional e-learning platform from LinkedIn. It offers a variety of short video guides as well as longer courses. Just like MasterClass, Lynda has online courses for creatives, but not only them. It contains around 14000 classes in different fields and for different levels.

How Lynda works: Lynda is a membership platform and gives access to all the online courses available once you pay a yearly payment.

The instructors: Unlike MasterClass, Lynda gives a chance for everyone to join the platform and submit their courses. That is why the instructors’ level of knowledge is very different and it can take time to find a good course.

The quality of video content: While MasterClass takes the quality of the video production as a priority, Lynda is an open-source platform. That is the reason why there are quite different quality courses on the platform.

Pricing: The first month is free. Once your Lynda trial is over, you should pay $29.99 per month (monthly payment) and $19.99 per month (annual payment).

6. Is MasterClass worth it?

What makes Masterclass unique with so many e-learning alternatives out there? Several things.

First of all, it is unique due to the greatest minds teaching you. Everyone deserves to learn from the best and here is the chance. And MasterClass classes provide an opportunity for getting insights and being mentored by people whose wisdom and achievements inspire the whole world.

Another reason why MasterClass is worth trying is the outstanding quality of its video content. The company invests in video production a lot and their video content is a kind of art that inspires, and admires at the same time.

MasterClass has thousands of reviews from its happy customers. But it is up to you to decide whether Masterclass worth it or not.

is masterclass worth it

Summary

MasterClass created a new trend in the e-learning industry allowing learning from the best. It gives a unique chance to learn from the leaders most of whom created their masterclasses for the first time.

So, will you try MasterClass?

Tatyana Artemova

Tatyana Artemova is an entrepreneur, blogger, and motivator. She is a founder of IStartHub, an online magazine for ambitious entrepreneurs and small business owners.