Review (2020): Is MasterClass Worth It?

Posted 06 Apr 2020, by

Brendan Brown

(This review contains affiliate links which means we earn a commission if you sign up⁠—at no extra cost to you. However, it’s an honest review about my personal experience with MasterClass).

I’ve recently come out of 14 days of self-isolation down in Australia.

During my isolation, I needed something constructive to do. I couldn’t be a couch potato all day.

So I signed up to MasterClass to see what all the fuss was about and to hopefully pick up some inspiration along the way.

You’ve probably heard of MasterClass: it’s a platform where masters of their craft give curated video lessons, allowing you to learn from some of the brightest minds in the world.

I decided to take three totally different classes: Billy Collins for poetry, Ron Howard for directing, and Dominique Ansel for pastry making (I like eating pastries), and give you my feedback on how I found them.

In my epic MasterClass review, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the platform (including the good and the bad) and walk you through my experience taking these 3 classes.

I’ll also give my verdict on whether MasterClass is worth it for you.

Let’s get started.

What is MasterClass?

MasterClass is a relatively new online education platformbut its popularity is exploding.

Founded in 2015 by David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen, MasterClass has already already delivered their courses to more than one million students.

MasterClass is special for two reasons:

  • The calibre of the instructors. The world’s most successful people teach the thing that made them successful. Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking. Neil Gaiman teaches writing. Helen Mirren teaches acting. All the instructors are household names and legends in their field.
  • The video production quality is mind blowing. The classes consist of 3 to 20 minute video tutorials and the Hollywood-level production quality of these videos are an absolute standout feature.

For me, this is more than education. It’s entertainment with a twist.

You can binge-watch MasterClass just like you’d do with Netflix. But instead of numbing your mind, you’ll learn some incredible skills along the way.

Now that many of us are going to be staying at home for an extended period, I think MasterClass is the perfect solution for passing the time.

About the instructors

There are 80+ famous instructors on MasterClass, covering everything from writing, to cooking, to poker.

Some of the most popular instructors include:

The caliber of the teachers is just mind blowing. No where else could I gain access to the teachings of such incredible people.

While the instructors are being paid to teach classes on MasterClass, they aren’t doing it just for the money. You get the sense they all get as much of a kick out of sharing the inner-working of their craft with us as we do watching it.

According to Rogier, the course instructors “see this as a way to give back… If it was for the money, there are tons of other options.”

How MasterClass works

Once you’re logged into MasterClass, everything is extremely intuitive and easy to follow.

Most courses have 20 to 25 video lessons that you can watch and learn from. You can also download worksheets and other items to help you learn alongside the instructor.

The video lessons can be watched at your own pace. They are relatively short, so you will never be overwhelmed with the information and anecdotes of the instructors. You don’t need to commit to watching anything for hours at a time unlike other education platforms.

You can expect the following from a typical MasterClass course:

  • Video lessons from the legendary teacher. Most classes contain 20 to 25 videos, which provides about 2 to 5 hours of video content in total.
  • Course notes on each video summarising the key points.
  • Additional reading resources
  • A space to log down your own notes.
  • Access to the community. You can join discussions, share your own work, and connect with other students taking this class.

Will these classes turn YOU into a celebrity?

Perhaps not. But that’s not really the point.

How practical these MasterClasses are is an open question and probably depends on the person asking it.

MasterClass won’t necessarily turn you into the understudy of the instructor whose class you take. Taking Dan Brown’s thriller writing class won’t guarantee you will start writing a best-selling novel next week. Taking Helen Mirren’s acting class may not set you up for a career on Broadway.

But that’s okay. I don’t think many people sign up to MasterClass with the expectation that they will become a superstar themselves soon afterwards.

MasterClass is more relevant for people looking for inspiration or a springboard to further pursue their own creativity. You get an insider’s feel of what it takes to be successful and there are numerous ways you can apply these teachings in your own life.

Who is Masterclass for?

Masterclass is for anybody.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit broad. Masterclass is for people who are interested in learning a variety of cool, practical, artistic talents from some of the greatest minds in their respective fields.

Want to learn acting from Natalie Portman? Want to learn comedy from Judd Apatow? Want to learn scientific thinking from Neil Degrasse Tyson? Then MasterClass is for you.

Let’s be honest: because of the coronavirus, most of us have more free time on our hands than we used too. Something about idle minds + hands being the devil’s plaything, right?

Point being: if you have more free time than you’re used to, it’s easy for your mind to take a few detours down anxiety lane. Having some fun side projects is a great way to put your mind at ease.

Who is MasterClass not for?

Masterclass is not for someone who is looking for live instruction or education that’s accredited.

These classes are all pre-recorded, and don’t offer Q&A sessions, check-in coaching sessions, or 1 on 1 lessons. You won’t be interacting directly with the instructor.

MasterClass has gotten so popular that it’s hard to have a one-on-one feel with them.

MasterClass is also not for someone who is hoping to use these classes to replace college-level courses. These aren’t accredited courses and shouldn’t be confused with them.

Lastly, it’s also not for people who don’t want to learn. Yes, the classes are entertaining and a few of my lessons were downright joyful, but I think the main attraction of MasterClass is to learn new things.

And learning requires a bit of effort.

The cost of MasterClass

MasterClass costs $180 for the All-Access Pass. This is an annual membership which gives you access to all the classes on the platform as well as any new ones that launch.

$180 isn’t pocket change.

But given the caliber of the instructors, and production quality of every video, I think it’s still great value.

Is there a free trial?

There is no free trial available for MasterClass. They used to offer a free trial but removed this feature in August 2018.

If you see websites offering MasterClass free trials then these are fake and you’re best to move on.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t try before you buy. MasterClass offer an iron-clad 30-day money back guarantee. So, if you find that MasterClass isn’t for you for any reason, you can get your money back.

Do they offer a discount?

MasterClass do not generally offer discounts on the purchase price. This means that they also do not offer student discounts either.

The $180 All Access Pass price is the same for everyone.

However, several times throughout the year MasterClass run a special promotion featuring a 2-for-1 deal. This means you can buy one All-Access Pass and gift another pass to someone else.

They are not currently offering this promotion but I’ll update this article as soon as it’s running again.

Is MasterClass worth your money?

Anybody who gets Masterclass will say yes.

I was surprised when I went to sign up to MasterClass how affordable it was. Given that the instructors are all celebrities in their field, I assumed the price would be inflated.

Yes, $180 is still a decent outlay but it’s a lot less than what you pay for most online education these days.

So I think MasterClass is absolutely worth the money in that regard.

The pros of MasterClass

My MasterClass review wouldn’t be complete without a good pro/con breakdown. And even MasterClass isn’t exempt from a few cons.

Let’s first take a look at what I found pretty great about MasterClass.

  • Legendary teachers. It goes without saying that these teachers are no slouches. And it never feels like they don’t live up to the level of “master,” nor does it feel like they’re phoning it in. It’s a pretty big deal to have so many legends on the one platform explaining their craft.
  • Video quality. This is a real standout feature of MasterClass. The videos are incredibly well produced. The camerawork, the lighting, the sound, and even the music makes the videos a joy to watch. I think the video quality not only adds to the spectacle of the videos, but makes everything more intimate and the teachings easy to absorb.
  • Quick Lists. This is an incredible feature of MasterClass. Basically, you get lessons recommended to you based on what you’re interested in. So, you can jump from one lesson by Neil Gaiman on finding inspiration to a related lesson from David Baldacci on generating story ideas. The best bit? You don’t need to complete each class in a linear fashion. You can move seamlessly between instructors based on topics that interest you.
  • Variety of classes. The MasterClasses are broken down into nine categories, with each category have plenty of different classes underneath them. There are MasterClasses for writers, home cooks, musicians, journalists, acting enthusiasts, athletes, and more. Plus, Masterclass is adding new content on an almost weekly basis.
  • The mobile app. I preferred to watch the MasterClass videos on my laptop, but they worked just as well on my phone. The MasterClass mobile app is an impressive feature and worked seamlessly for me.
  • Approachable. The difficulty of the classes does vary, but the classes are overall very approachable in the sense that anyone (even novices on the subject matter) can enter into the class and learn new skills from the instructor.
  • Additional resources. Apart from the videos, the supplementary material was also quality. The downloadable workbooks for each class offer great lessons and material to further your learning.

The cons of MasterClass

As much as I enjoyed my experience with MasterClass, here are the things I didn’t like as much about the platform.

  • Not a replacement for traditional education. These aren’t semester-long classes. Each one has probably a few hours of learning in total. You shouldn’t think of them as substitutes for traditional education, but rather as springboards on your learning journey.
  • They’re all pre-taped. These classes are self-paced. They don’t start/stop on a schedule. As a result, there isn’t any live Q&A element with these classes nor any unpredictability. Ron Howard’s class will be the same every time you take it.
  • Community feature. MasterClass has created a community called The Hub where you can chat to other class members and discuss the teachings from the instructor. In theory, it’s a nice addition. In practice, I found the discussions barren and uninspiring. I quickly skipped this aspect of MasterClass.

Those are the big cons for me, and they’re not really that big. These are great classes that give you a good knowledge base to expand your learning. They’re just not huge deep-dives into each subject.

As long as you understand that you’re not getting a literal, collegiate class when you take a Masterclass, then you’ll be perfectly content.

My review of 3 classes

Now that you have an overview of what MasterClass is about, let’s dive into my personal experience taking 3 totally different classes.

Billy Collins MasterClass review

I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Billy Collins, but he was the Poet Laureate of the US from 2001-2003.

He’s a very popular, approachable, and talented poet with a knack for getting any reader hooked with his casual, conversational tone before reeling them in with his deeper, more philosophical thoughts later in each of his poems.

My third-grade teacher also read us a lot of Billy Collins poems. So I’ve been a B.C. fan for a while.

Anyway, that’s actually what got me excited about MasterClassthe chance to learn from Billy Collins. He’s the modern master of poetrywho better to learn from than him?

When I decided to write this MasterClass review, Billy Collins’ class was the one I was most looking forward to.

How is the class structured?

Billy Collins divides his class into twenty lessons that run from around 10-20 minutes in length.

Each of these classes is a video where Billy chats with “you,” solo. These classes cover topics from “working with form” to “finding your voice” and everything in between. The video segments are quite casual, allowing you to get interested in the topic at hand without feeling like you’re being lectured to.

The class comes with a 60-page workbook that has fun exercises, musings, and an appendix of referenced poetry.

Beyond this, his class comes with a community forum feature where you can share and upload work. The poetry class seems to create a class book every year or so which students can contribute poetry to.

Who is this class for?

Billy Collins’s poetry class is great for anyone who is interested in poetry.

While this MasterClass is probably geared more to writers who are just beginning to get into poetry (many of his lessons are things like “write a Shakespearean sonnet,” or “write a list of 20 things you did during the evening but not in order), these lessons are applicable for any poet at any level of their craft — it’s never too late to learn from the master!

Billy Collins shines at creating inviting, approachable poetry that appears deceptively simple. His class is quite similar. It’s inviting, it’s appealing, it’s conversational.

However, once you get immersed into the class itself, you realise that there is a great deal of wisdom, depth, and eloquence that any writer can learn a great deal from.

If you’re interested in poetry, this class is for you.

Who is this class not for?

This class is not for analysts who want to (to borrow from Billy) “beat the poem with a hose.” By that, I mean analyze literature to death.

This is not a class where you examine every rhyme, every foot of each line, and agonize over the potential symbolism until you’re finding non-existent imagery hidden in the humps of the letters themselves.

Billy Collins is pretty clear that he views this approach as not helpful. Instead, he presents poetry and poems as delightful — as stylized pieces of art that you can take away from what you want without pressure.

Likewise, as a writer, he encourages you to relax into your writing. To Billy, poetry shouldn’t be stuffy, so he encourages you to let your guard down.

If you’re a poet who angrily demands that all poetry must rhyme, must lock in its meter, and cannot deviate from “thee, thine, thou,” then you’re gonna have a rough time.

My verdict on this class

I was really delighted by Billy Collins’s class. He’s a gentle expert who casually guides his class through the art of poetry without ever making it feel intimidating.

People who think they hate poetry will take this class and perhaps come away thinking “you know, this poetry stuff isn’t half bad.”

I’d encourage anyone who thinks that poetry is “stuffy” or written by “dead old men” to give Collins’s class a shot — you may discover the hidden poet within you!

Plus, since we’re all stuck inside indefinitely, it’s great to pick up a new hobby. With Collins’s poetry class, you can easily pick up a new craft: poetry.

Unlike filmmaking or pastry making (very fun as well), you don’t need much overhead to write a poem. You really only need a pen and paper.

Or a computer. Or an iPhone. Or a stick and some dirt.

Point being: it’s easily accessible. It’s creative! We need some creative outlets to get through these difficult times.

Who knows? Ten years from now, when we’re all happily vaccinated, your poems you wrote under Billy’s instructions may be the defining literature of the pandemic quarantine!

You won’t know unless you get to writing.

Ron Howard MasterClass review

After learning from the great Billy Collins, I decided to try my hand at learning directing from Ron Howard.

Ron Howard is a director who has made some of the great American movies of the last half-century. He directed Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and dozens more great movies. He’s won two Oscars (both for A Beautiful Mind), as well as four Emmys, a Grammy, and two Golden Globes.

Plus, he played Opie on The Andy Griffith show, for all you TV land fans.

The guy’s as legit as they come.

If you haven’t seen a Ron Howard film, go check one out before taking this class. I always think it’s a good idea to have a grasp of a teacher’s work style before you dive into their lessons. Check out Cocoon or Night Shift!

How is the class structured?

Ron’s class has a few more lessons than Billy’s (this one clocks in at 32 lessons), though the length of each lesson is a lot more variable than Billy Collins’s. Some lessons are only a few minutes long, while others definitely push 20+.

Ron structures his class to parallel the conception, development, and production of a film. This is a nice touch, as it gives the class a nice overall narrative (would we expect anything else from a master of directing?).

He starts with an intro before diving into choosing a story. This was interesting to me.

Before this class, I knew very little about directing. Sure, I’ve seen some excellent (and not-so-excellent) movies, and I’ve done my fair share of writing (I swear I’ll get to finishing that screenplay!), but I’d never been in the director’s seat before: being in a place where I choose and evaluate the story.

This was cool. This was new.

After you evaluate the story, Ron walks you through script refining, development, and collaboration. Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration! He definitely hits on this, as the director is not a “one-stop-shop” for the production of a film. Instead, the director needs to work with cinematographers, editors, foley artists, casting directors, and so on.

Ron nicely shows how the director fits into the equation of a film, and how the other production elements all work together to make a movie happen.

Who is this class for?

Ron’s class is for people interested in directing.

While all the MasterClass classes are easily accessible for newcomers, this one feels a little more advanced than Billy Collins’s. It may be because Ron’s craft is a bit more technical (though he has a great grasp of narrative), and therefore lends itself to people willing to seek out the technical elements required of directing, but either way, it felt like a step up in terms of a challenge.

The workbook that comes with the MasterClass has a good assortment of technical assignments that build upon the lessons of the previous assignments (example, you go from reading a script to writing about what you would change about a script to storyboarding a potential film).

One of the last assignments is to PA on a local film shoot. When I got to that portion of the MasterClass, I knew that this class was for those who had a more than passing interest in directing. This is an encouraging class that challenges you to push yourself and reach for opportunities.

It’s exciting!

Who is this class not for?

This class is not for the faint of heart. If you’re not willing to invest in theory, technical knowhow, and real-world experience; then Ron Howard’s MasterClass is not for you.

Likewise, if you’re someone who is put off by collaboration, you’re going to dislike this course. It doesn’t actively require you to collab with any classmates, but it shows you how collaborative the filmmaking process is. This isn’t a solo art, and Ron makes that quite clear.

If you don’t like movies, you’re obviously not going to like this class. Also, if you’re more interested in non-traditional narratives (think Memento or Eternal Sunshine), you might be disappointed in this.

Ron preaches a traditional narrative structure (it works for a reason!), so that may be offputting to our more arthouse readers (who really ought to be less judgy).

My verdict on this class

Ron Howard’s directing class is a solid MasterClass. It walks you through all the steps of film development, narrative structure, collaboration, and direction in pursuit of creating a film that you (the director) feel passionate about and proud of.

Ron walks you through these in 32 lessons that are accompanied by a 20-page workbook. The workbook has a great list of films to watch (Frost/Nixon is a nice addition), along with books on film theory that can help you on your journey.

His last lesson is “find a story you love,” which I think is such a great encapsulation of his MasterClass in general.

TL;DR, Ron’s class is a great Masterclass on film directing. Go check it out now!

Dominique Ansel MasterClass review

Ah! Dominique! The legend! The Cronut inventor! It’s him (in the digital flesh), teaching us how to become a world-class pastry chef.

After waiting years for a Cronut before casually strolling in and surprisingly finding them in stock in 2019, I’ve been an Ansel convert.

So, when I found myself with more free time on my hands because of my 14-day isolation, I thought: I need to eat.

And what do we eat when we’re stressed? Tasty treats. What better way to kill time and fill my anxiety belly than by learning how to bake a few of Ansel’s treats.

Dominique Ansel is a world-renowned pastry chef. He was the pastry Chef at Daniel, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City (I believe it had three when Dominique worked there), before he opened up Dominique Ansel Bakery in the SoHo neighborhood of New York.

While he has invented such tasty treats as the Cookie Shot, Blossoming Hot Chocolate, and the Frozen S’more; he is well known for the “cronut” a croissant-doughnut hybrid he invented in 2013.

7 years later, let me tell you that the cronut is worth the hype!

Also, in 2017, he was named the Best Pastry Chef in the World.

In short, he’s a master of his pastry craft.

How is the class structured?

Dominique Ansel’s MasterClass contains 17 video lessons. The first few are intro videos, along with his story of how he came to run his pastry shop.

After these intros, the Masterclass takes an interesting turn. Dominique walks you through how to create five recipes of varying complexity.

This is interesting, as each lesson is often simply a component of a greater recipe. For example, in the fruit tart, one lesson is on the shell, while another is on the strawberry jam.

A lot of the lesson is on the technique itself — and he structures the videos so that you can follow along at home. Because of this, it’s a lot less of a theoretical or philosophical style Masterclass than say, the writing classes.

Instead, you’re actively working and learning along with Dominique. It’s nice.

Dominique teaches you how to make madeleines, a fruit tart, a chocolate cake, bonbons, and the perfect pastry. He wraps up the MasterClass by doing a case study on the Cronut, and teaching you how to think creatively about pastries.

As someone who is tired of seeing “ice cream” as the sole dessert on too many restaurant menus, it’s nice to have Dominique champion the cause of the pastry chef.

It’s inspiring for a pastry nut.

Who is this class for?

This class is for people who want to cook. Specifically, this class is for people who want to cook desserts and baked goods.

It’s high-end French pastry making, so it’s technically challenging. In fact, I’d peg it as the most technically challenging of any of the classes I’ve taken so far.

Dominique Ansel’s MasterClass is for those who relish a challenge.

If you’re looking to make a dessert that will wow your friends and family, then let Dominique teach you how to make his chocolate cake. If you’re looking to replicate those flaky Parisian pastries, then jump on this Masterclass!

Who is this class not for?

This class is not for those who don’t have access to a kitchen (unfortunately). You really need to follow along with Dominique to get the most out of this class.

It doesn’t require a ton of specialized equipment, but you’re going to need a stove, an oven, plenty of mixing equipment, baking sheets and tins, pastry/frosting bags, and other similar supplies. It’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg to get there, but if you’re just looking to whip up a cupcake, this isn’t the class for you.

Likewise, this isn’t the class for people put off by a challenge. These are multi-element, time-consuming recipes with a focus on presentation. Sure, they taste phenomenal, but they look gorgeous. You need to be someone who can at least take a moment to slow down and up the ante on plating.

Similarly, you need to be able to follow directions. If you can’t follow along with Dominique, you’ll wind up with an inedible mess.

Master the techniques first, then go off on your own.

My verdict on this class

Dominique Ansel offers a challenging, but engaging Masterclass that centers around creating five signature recipes. These recipes highlight a variety of different important pastry techniques that will allow you to build a great base of knowledge for trying out new recipes on your own.

Plus, the recipes are delicious. So freaking delicious.

The first one you get to try is the mini-madeleines recipe.

Never underestimate a good madeleine. The recipe may make 100, but you’ll plow through those like a kid and a bag of potato chips.

The 10 best classes in 2020

masterclass review top 10

There are a lot of great classes available on Masterclass taught by pretty incredible instructors.

However, after careful digging and reviewing dozens of different classes using my All-Access Pass, here are my top 10 classes to take in 2020.

Neil Gaiman: The Art of Storytelling

Neil’s an expert storyteller, who has written legendary books like Coraline and American Gods. He brings his signature fantasy and world-building expertise to his Masterclass, where he gives you 19 lessons on writing as varied as “truth in fiction” to “dealing with writer’s block.”

I personally loved the lesson on “writer’s responsibilities.” Write like you’re paying for each word, not the other way around!

Garry Kasparov: Chess

Grandmaster and Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov gives a beautiful class in the basics, tactics, strategies, and artistry of chess.

It’s a mesmerizing class to watch as he gracefully explains the advantages of each position he draws onto the board. As a chess fan, I felt honored just to be watching his class.

Gordon Ramsay: Cooking

Gordon Ramsay has such a larger than life personality, that sometimes it’s easy to forget he’s an incredible cook and a great teacher.

He really comes to life in this 1:1 masterclass, where he takes you on a culinary journey from setting up your kitchen to learning how to poach an egg to making the quintessentially British Beef Wellington.

Ron Howard: Directing

Ron Howard: Director of Apollo 13 (among many other great films) comes out swinging with a great masterclass that takes prospective filmmakers through every step of the film production process.

He emphasizes the collaborative nature of the movie-making process, and even includes compelling homework assignments as bold as PA’ing on a local film set. You can read my full review of his class above.

Shonda Rhimes: Writing For Television

I liked this class because of its specificity. Shonda focuses on a specific subset of writing: TV writing, which is a beast with a very particular formula.

Shonda, creator of legendary hits like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, knows these formulas to the point of memorization, and walks you through crafting TV story arcs the way Kasparov walks your pieces across the chessboard.

Chris Hadfield: Space Exploration

A bit more of an intellectual class than some of the more craft-based masterclasses, Chris Hadfield (astronaut) walks you through all elements of space explorationpast and future.

You learn what it’s like to be launched from a rocket, how orbital mechanics function, and what a Mission to Mars will look like. You even learn a bit of rocket science (it’s actually a lot of fun even for a non-rocket scientist like me).

Dominique Ansell: Baking

As I explain in my full review above, Dominique offers a hands-on pastry-making class that targets a few key recipes that feature multiple challenging technical components. The end result is a lifetime’s worth of key baking knowledgeand delicious treats in the meantime!

Chris Voss: Negotiation

A bit of a nailbiter, Voss is a former FBI agent who teaches negotiation. While he certainly deployed negotiation in some very tense circumstances, his tactics can be used by any of us in our day-to-day lives.

Penn & Teller: Magic

This was probably the most outright fun class I sampled on Masterclass.

Legendary magicians Penn & Teller spill the beans on the foundations of magic, allowing you to finally master all of those “how did they do that” tricks you’ve seen over the years. They couple their lessons with some real-life magic novices, allowing for you to see how a trick is built from the ground up.

Malcolm Gladwell: Writing

Masterclass has a large number of writing classes. Gladwell’s background is as a journalist, so his class takes a different angle than, say, Neil Gaiman’s. He definitely stresses narrative, but also brings other elements, like research, that some of the other faculty haven’t mentioned.

A great class!

What makes MasterClass different to its competitors?

The main alternatives to Masterclass are websites like EdX, Khan Academy, and Coursera.

These companies are (typically) non-profit, web-based learning platforms that are structured more like college classes. They teach classes like Beginner Italian, International Politics, Statistics, etc.

Basically, they teach free college-level classes.

That’s great, and you really should check them out if you want a more rigorous academic experience.

But, they don’t teach craft like MasterClass does. MasterClass focuses on craft (typically artistic craft) like fiction writing, directing, cooking. Then, they get world-renowned experts in these fields to teach you what they know.

No one else is doing that. That is what makes Masterclass different. The masters themselves.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How much does MasterClass cost?

The All-Access Pass costs $180 which gives you unlimited access to all the classes (including future classes) for one year.

Is MasterClass worth the money?

For me, MasterClass was absolutely worth the money. I signed up to the All-Access Pass and took 3 classes in full. I also browsed videos from a dozen other classes with the help of the intuitive “Quick Lists” feature. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience.

Does MasterClass have a free trial?

MasterClass does not offer a free trial. However, they have a pretty generous 30-day money back guarantee if your experience with MasterClass disappoints you for any reason.

How much do MasterClass instructors get paid?

The celebrity instructors are reportedly being paid $100,000 plus a share in revenue from the sales of their classes. However, they don’t seem to be doing it just for the money (they could probably earn more money doing other things elsewhere). The instructors looked like they got a real kick out of sharing their craft.

Who owns MasterClass?

MasterClass was founded in 2014 by David Rogier and Aaron Rasmussen. Based out of San Francisco, they have recently raised over $100 million in investment and have delivered their courses to over one million students.

Does MasterClass offer a student discount?

No, MasterClass does not offer a student discount. The $180 price for MasterClass is the same for everyone.

How long does a MasterClass subscription last?

One year. The All-Access Pass allows you to access every class on MasterClass for one year as well as any new classes as they launch.

Can I buy just one MasterClass?

No. They used to offer single classes for $90 but stopped doing this in 2020.

Can you watch MasterClass offline?

MasterClass is generally designed to be watched on any device with internet access. However, you can download videos on iOS for offline viewing (basically on your iPhone or Mac). At the time of writing this you can not use Android devices for offline viewing.

Does MasterClass have an app?

Yes, you can watch MasterClass on your phone. You can also use your tablet, computer, laptop, or even your TV to watch the courses. Basically any device with internet access can be used.

Does MasterClass give certificates?

No, MasterClass does not give certificates after completing a class. Therefore, MasterClass is not something you can put on your resume or Linkedin profile.

My MasterClass review verdict: Is it worth it?

Is masterclass worth it

Masterclass really surprised me. I dived into it with an open mind and was impressed by the variety of classes available and the knowledge and enthusiasm that each teacher brought to their classes.

Was MasterClass worth it?

For me, MasterClass was definitely worth it.  I found each class to be inspiring. Each teacher does a great job of showing you how to make the craft your own, which really helps the new learner gain a passion for the skill.

Dominique Ansel’s lessons on ingenuity helped me view pastry making in a very different way (it’s not an unchanging artform, but alive with innovation), while I was enthused by Ron Howard’s assignment to just go and PA on a film shoot (brave!).

I also found the class poetry book for Billy Collins’s to be a really sweet touch. I hadn’t seen anything like that.

Although I didn’t find a whole lot of value in the community portion of the classes, in general, that is not what draws me to any form of online learning. So I don’t view that as a negative—just a personal preference.

I really think that everyone has something to gain from Masterclass. And I think now is the perfect time to join. We all have a fair amount of extra time, and we need an escape.

By escaping into MasterClass, you’ll come out the other side with some impressive know-how on a huge variety of different skills.

MasterClass Special Deals

MasterClass often run special deals on their All-Access Pass. Click below to view the latest deal.

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