The best learn from the best! That’s what masterclasses mean to be. Therefore, they are usually entirely exclusive, by selection or price. But not with the new website masterclass.com. Here, everyone is allowed to participate. It costs something, sure, but it should be affordable for many if not most.
Founded by David Rogier in 2012, the San Francisco-based company wants to democratize the principle of the master classes. Classes cost $90 each, or a flat $180 for all courses during a full year. You are able to take the class at your own pace and in your own time.
In video lessons, workbooks and an online forums, stars from very different domains like photography (Annie Leibovitz), Chess (Garry Kasparov), Writing (James Patterson), Comedy (Steve Martin), Filmmaking (Werner Herzog), Tennis (Serena Williams) and, last but not least, music, teach their secrets to their success.
When it comes to music, lessons are provided by dedmau5 (electronic music production), Herbie Hancock (Jazz), Hans Zimmer (film scoring), Christina Aguilera (singing), Usher (the art of performance) and Reba McEntire (Country Music).
Apart from what you learn about the respective subject, you also get an insight into the person teaching. For example, Christina Aguilera tells her story, what inspired her and how hat and red lipstick became her trademarks. You also learn how the singer works, and that she uses the same voice warm-up cassette since her first album.
Of course, this format of the masterclasses has its limitations. It is a one-way communication, although you have the opportunity of the community forum and the teachers answer selected questions. But the teacher doesn’t see (or hear, taste or read) what you do, and therefore is not able to give direct feedback.
It is also important to understand that you will be taught by professionals, but not professional teachers. Therefore, you have to expect a lack of theoretical background. But, on the other hand, you get practical personal information. A thing, often neglected in more academic classes.
Therefore, these masterclasses might not be suited for beginners, but are a welcome complement for more advanced participants.
Do you have own experiences with this website to share? We are very much interested in learning about your comments.