It's been three years since MasterClass first made a splash on the internet, offering the once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn a craft from the leading ladies and gentlemen across all types of leading industries. Now, POPSUGAR can exclusively confirm that the company is bringing its game-changing offerings to a more portable format; as of April 24, you can finally take lessons from the masters straight from your mobile phone.
Whether you're a MasterClass aficionado or have only heard rave reviews from friends and family, there's never been such a good time to finally take up that photography habit you've been hankering for, with lessons from Annie Leibovitz. Or consult Serena Williams on how to develop a kickass tennis game. Or, if you're feeling really ambitious, learn how to write the next West Wing episode straight from Aaron Sorkin. Seriously, these are all things you can do — and now you can do them anywhere, with no computer required.
Now, for the nitty-gritty: MasterClass costs $90 for one instructor's class or $180 for unlimited access to all 35 classes over a one-year period. These classes are delivered in daily, bite-size lessons, and with the new app, they also come with exclusive content and early release lessons that you'll get before anyone else. In the scheme of the cost of a full-on education or lesson in a subject area, it's worth the investment: at the end of the day, if you find you're not hooked, you can always switch to something else. And let's be honest: you won't often get the chance to actually learn from Gordon Ramsay (instead of seeing him spit fire in the kitchen) — so it's worth a little investment for the experience.
In order to give you a better idea of just how awesome the new app is — and how much more accessible it makes this stellar content — CEO of MasterClass David Rogier answered three of my most burning questions about the MasterClass experience. Below, you can find his answers in full . . . and hot tip: you probably want to have your phone at the ready for when you get to the end of this page.
POPSUGAR: What do you hope the app experience will give users that isn't currently available on the site?
David Rogier: The world is changing faster than it ever has before — we now have to keep learning just to keep up. Education has to change. Education can't be bounded by a classroom or a desktop computer.
We want to help people learn from the best in the world, wherever they are. For some students, learning at a computer might not be practical. If you're taking Gordon Ramsay's cooking class, you may want to have it up on your iPad in the kitchen. If you're working on your shooting techniques with Stephen Curry, you'll probably want to take his class with you on the court. We also heard from students [that] they often watch the classes on their commute or when they find a few minutes throughout their day.
This is also the first time we're picking some of the best lessons from our classes and sharing them in bite-size chunks every day. You can learn how Thomas Keller cooks potatoes or how Serena Williams serves or what Jane Goodall discovered about animals' ability to feel.
These one-minute videos give students a way to learn something new, even if they just have a few minutes, with the goal of inspiring them to dive deeper.
PS: What is the best way to approach MasterClass as a new user?
DR: How I approach it: I find my favorite comfy chair, pick a class I'd never picture myself taking, and jump right in! Then I never want to get up.
Obviously, it's different for everyone since everyone learns differently. Some students come to MasterClass because they want to learn as much as they can on a specific topic from one instructor, such as photography with Annie Leibovitz. They might take the full class from start to finish, do all the workbook assignments, actively engage in the student community for that class, and participate in Annie's office hours.
Other students may want to dig into a specific field like cooking, whether they're aspiring or professional chefs or just people who love to cook. These students subscribe to MasterClass and may take all four cooking classes we offer, including Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck, and soon Alice Waters.
Many of our students subscribe to MasterClass to learn different lessons from different instructors in a variety of categories. They tend to bounce around between different classes to create their own curriculum by only watching the lessons that connect with them personally, like Chris Hadfield on spacewalking, Christina Aguilera on overcoming mistakes, Martin Scorsese on channeling your influences, or Aaron Sorkin on the West Wing writers room — in case you're a big fan like me.
The learning experience is different for everyone, but what's consistent is that you know you're learning from people who are truly the greatest minds on the subject.
PS: Where is the best place to start?
DR: Open up the app and start browsing the wall of instructors — pick someone who sparks your curiosity!
For me, this week it's Chris Hadfield's class on space exploration. He was commander of the International Space Station. The class gives you goosebumps about the enormity of our universe.