The internet has put an unimaginable amount of content and information at our fingertips, and we now have the ability to dive deeply into practically any topic on the planet, learning new skills and finding information and inspiration in seconds.
This sounds wonderful, in theory, but the reality is that it’s all too easy to get lost in the information overload. While tonnes of great information exists out there, it’s often drowning in an ocean of poor quality content.
Anyone wanting to learn music production, for example, will find endless videos promising to teach you everything from music theory to DAWs.
Whether you’re trying to learn the basics, techniques or software, it’s hard to know where to start. A simple YouTube search for a topic of interest will usually highlight the issues, with hundreds of amateur tutorials appearing.
Masterclass is a website which seeks to rise above the noise, by offering online classes with a startling difference.
Rather than a qualified instructor – or a passionate amateur – these are beautifully filmed classes created by true jugganaughts of their professions, who have genuinely been there and done it.
Masterclass offers classes on a wide variety of creative topics, from acting to filmmaking, and boast a truly impressive selection of names – whether it’s Gordon Ramsay teaching cooking, Helen Mirren teaching acting, or Hans Zimmer teaching composing for film soundtracks, you get real, unprecedented access to some of the greatest minds, and most talented people on the planet.
The classes generally range between two and four hours, and take a deep dive into the instructor’s creative processes, often featuring some illuminating demonstrations. For some reason, it’s even heartening to see the real people behind the names you know so well – for example, seeing Armin Van Buuren flailing around with Midi notes in his Logic Pro software is actually surprisingly inspiring for aspiring musicians, and shows that achieving great results is possible.
How is it different?
Masterclass differs somewhat from other websites offering creative classes, like another of my favourites, Creative Live, in that they are not necessarily drilling down on technical skills. Instead, Masterclass excels in offering inspiration on tap. Some of the classes are essentially documentaries, offering a look at the individual and their philosophy, while others do focus more on practical, actionable tips.
It’s hard not to be amazed by the access to true passion and knowledge on offer here, and you’ll quickly find yourself diving into classes on topics that you previously had no interest in – such as the Chris Hadfield Teaches Space Exploration class for example. The classes are entertaining and interesting, which will keep you coming back and engaged.
The biggest drawback to the site, is undoubtably the price tag – these big names don’t come cheap.
At £180 for an annual subscription, committing to Masterclass should take some thought and consideration. When compared with the costs of brick and mortar learning, the opportunity to get access however mostly to some of the greatest creative mines on the planet it’s one that is extremely compelling. it is possible to purchase single classes, but the price tag is still high when compared to the subscription.
Another issue is perhaps if you have a narrow field of interest – for example, there are a few high quality courses on music production, but if you’ve no interest in any of the classes covering other areas of interest, this may not be enough to be worth shelling out for.
It’s worth mentioning that Masterclass also offers an accompanying app, which works well and allows you to download some classes for learning on the move – although not all of them. It’s also useful for Chrome-casting classes onto a big screen – which is worth doing to enjoy the cinematography. The app also features some free content to give you a flavour of the site’s content.
I’ve had membership for just over a month now, and am really enjoying my All-Access subscription. If you’re looking for inspiration, it’s hard to beat . I’ll be sharing some more reviews of some of my favourite classes in the coming weeks, so make sure you check back if you’re interested.
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