Have You Ever Taken a Masterclass?

I’m fascinated by Masterclass.

Masterclass is a website where you can sign up to learn from a “master” in a specific field. Their philosophy is that everyone should have access to genius.

For $90, you get access to around 20 videos featuring people like Gordon Ramsay (cooking), Steve Martin (comedy), and Frank Gehry (architecture). That is, you pay $90 for a specific course, not unlimited access to the site. Based on the trailers on the site, the videos are extremely polished, especially the editing.

In an era where you can learn pretty much anything on YouTube for free, I really like the professional feel to Masterclass. Not only are you learning from esteemed, famous people, but it appears that the information is parceled in little steps. Even though Ramsay’s class is over 4 hours, each of the 20 videos teaches something specific, like how to make scrambled eggs, break down a whole chicken, or roll pasta dough.

Perhaps the aspect that intrigues me the most is the concept of “office hours.” Once you sign up for a class, you get unlimited access to the content forever. You can also upload videos of work and ask questions, and the teacher will respond to select questions. How cool would it be for Serena Williams to comment on your tennis swing?!

Also, originally I though that $90 seemed like a lot, but compared to what I paid for college, that’s a steal!

While I haven’t taken the plunge on Masterclass yet, I’m sure I will someday. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve tried it. Also, whose Masterclass would you like to take, whether they’re a current teacher or any potential teacher? I’d like one from Rob Daviau (game design), Brandon Sanderson (writing–though his online courses on YouTube are quite good), Jason Fried (business), and Usain Bolt (sprinting).

6 thoughts on “Have You Ever Taken a Masterclass?”

  1. I’ve bought a course on Udemy. It was excellent. Well worth the money. There is a person I follow on YouTube who makes some videos on a 3D graphics program I use, and he discussed the importance of buying content that is no kidding good. There are tons of videos of 10 year olds making how-to videos on random stuff. But when you want professionals to tell you the real deal about things that you’re going to then turn around and expect to improve your own professional career, it is important to pay for what you really need. You could spend 10s of hours combing through youtube videos that are bad, or spend just a few hour with good content. Your time is worth it, so invest wisely.

    • Nice! I’m glad you found value in it. I like this sentiment: “But when you want professionals to tell you the real deal about things that you’re going to then turn around and expect to improve your own professional career, it is important to pay for what you really need.”

  2. Jamey,

    I really like the fact that you have such diverse interests and your posts are not exclusively board game-related.

    As for the Master Class, I’m actually interested in the one presented by Gordon Ramsey, as I knew of his skills and talents a decade before he was known on our shores, as I was stationed in England from ’95-’99. At that time, he had earned his 3rd Michelin Star before he was 30. I’m not in the restaurant business, but suffice it to say, it’s a big deal. I realize he gets a bad rap due to his on-air antics, but two things…one, it’s Hollywood, and two, when you’re at that level, you get a pass for certain behaviors.

    As my daughter is pursuing a degree in the Performing Arts, I would have her watch the one presented by Robert DeNiro.


  3. As a musician, a very large percentage of my education has been as a part of various masterclasses. It can be such an awesome experience to work one on one with someone who’s well known in the field. I’ve also spent countless hours studying recorded ones so I could learn from musicians I couldn’t otherwise work with (maybe they’re dead, or very old now, or the expense / travel to work with them is prohibitive).


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