Which MasterClass Sessions Online Are the Best?

By Roxy FavrettoLast Updated September 3, 2020
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MasterClass ads can be found all over the internet, and you may have been tempted to try one yourself. In some ways, it’s a better time than ever to join, too — while you can no longer buy individual classes, a membership grants access to all classes, even new ones, as soon as they’re released, in exchange for a monthly fee. Each video ranges from five minutes to a full hour in length, and each class includes 10 to 30 videos, with many classes including a workbook or supplemental materials in PDF form.

More than one million students have educated themselves through the site’s nearly 100 classes. However, with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know which classes make for the best use of your time.To help kickstart your learning journey, we've gathered a list of some of the best online MasterClass sessions to take from world-renowned professionals.

Best for Learning Cooking: Gordon Ramsay

With dozens of restaurants and 16 Michelin Star awards and counting, Gordon Ramsay is truly a MasterChef. He'll teach you everything from how to set up your kitchen and acquire fresh ingredients to the secrets behind creating truly unforgettable dishes. In addition to classes focused on specific recipes by executive chefs from Ramsay's own restaurants, you'll all be able to experience 20 comprehensive cooking lessons from Ramsay himself.

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Additionally, this MasterClass features a downloadable workbook with recipes and recaps for use in the kitchen. Whether you’re a new cook looking to learn kitchen basics or a seasoned chef looking to polish their knife skills and acquire new recipes, this class can help you take things to the next level.

Best for Independent Filmmaking: Spike Lee

Spike Lee has spent more than three decades making films, often on limited budgets and without the benefit of backing from major studios. However, he still managed to gain immense industry respect, pioneered new filmmaking techniques and earned an Oscar nomination and win.

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In Lee’s MasterClass lessons, the visionary behind She's Gotta Have It, Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing, Love and Basketball, and Da Sweet Blood of Jesus leads you step by step through every phase of filmmaking. In addition to insight into his moviemaking philosophy, you'll also learn how to make the most of the resources available to you, including self-production.

Best for Film Scoring: Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer is a self-taught Academy-Award winner who has scored over 150 films, including The Dark Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Inception, Gladiator and The Lion King. His MasterClass provides a look at how he can creates and develops new sounds, the secret to composing captivating character themes and tips for scoring a film before seeing it.

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Apart from learning how to create your own distinctive sound palettes, Zimmer's 31 video lessons also elaborate on the importance of the collaborative process to the success of a movie's musical composition. By the end, you'll have learned all you need to start scoring movies.

Best for Learning Photography: Annie Leibovitz

With a crisp and well-lighted signature style, Anna-Lou "Annie" Leibovitz is famed for her engaging, quirky and iconic celebrity portraits, and she was the first chief photographer woman to be named at Rolling Stone. From how to take professional-looking portrait photographs to tips for creating unique and imaginative conditions that enhance your subject, Leibovitz’s MasterClass can help your work become both more refined and creative.

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Best for Investigative Journalism: Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward is renowned for his investigative journalism into the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein, which helped uncover the corruption of the Nixon presidency. Since then, Woodward has written 19 best-selling books and received two Pulitzer Prizes.

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His MasterClass imparts lessons from his decades as an investigative journalist, such as how to identify a meaningful story, methods for hunting down documents and other supportive evidence and identifying useful sources. Not only is the class ideal for anyone interested in the field of journalism, but Woodward's interview tips will also enhance your interpersonal communication skills. You never know — the next monumental story might be yours.

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