MasterClass never goes on sale, but we caught wind of a not-to-be-missed deal for college students. On September 17—for 24 hours only—college students with a working @.edu email (or proof of enrollment) can unlock a one-year subscription to the digital streaming platform for just $1 instead of the usual $180. Yes, $1. Why now, you ask? It’s supposed to be a pick-me-up for university students starting their fall term in the most unlikely and challenging of times.
As we said: The promo will end at 11:59 p.m. on September 17, so if you—or a close friend or relative—have been eager to watch Serena Williams or Tan France show you what’s good, now’s the time to sign up. (Psst…it would make for a great gift idea if you’re already gearing up for holiday shopping.)
Original Story: 5/8/20
If you have an Instagram account, you’ve no doubt seen an ad for MasterClass on your feed in recent weeks. The online learning platform launched in 2015 with three instructors—and in the years since, it’s tapped nearly 100 celebrities and industry leaders to share expert courses through an exclusive membership. Admittedly, I’m not much of an online learner, but something about being holed up in an apartment with nowhere to go has me wanting to do something other than bake another loaf of banana bread or failing at puzzling. Just me?
MasterClass courses run the gamut: lifestyle, politics, entertainment, fashion, design, and film. Each expert creates a virtual lesson plan, which shakes out to about 20 videos—all around 10 minutes each. The courses are billed as “classes that look like movies,” and the description is pretty spot-on, if you take a sneak peek on Instagram or YouTube. From the lighting to the coloring to the editing, the overarching vibe is objectively cinematic, but the content is fed to you in popcorn-size portions.
Courses stretch over two to five hours, and you could technically binge-watch a whole series in a single sitting—though after months of quarantine, you might’ve learned that slow and steady wins the race. The clips are short and sweet; you can pause, skip, or rewind to your heart’s content (something you can’t do in an IRL class). Phones, tablets, and laptops work just fine as viewing devices, but if your eyes hurt from staring at tiny fonts all day, I highly recommend hooking up to your TV with an HDMI cable or a Roku to get the most out of the cinematic quality video. (MasterClass is also compatible with Apple TV and Amazon Firestick, FYI.)
About those experts…MasterClass has you (virtually) face-to-face with everyone you’d want to invite to the imaginary dinner party of your dreams: Tan France, Serena Williams, Marc Jacobs, Margaret Atwood, Natalie Portman, Diane Von Furstenburg, Martin Scorcese, Anna Wintour, Gordon Ramsey, RuPaul, even Armin Van Buuren and Timbaland (!!). The list really does go on, so whether you’re into photography or cooking, politics or sports, you’ll find your niche here. Or maybe the opposite will happen, and you’ll find yourself piqued by ideas and stories outside your norm—arguably one of the few silver linings to quarantine at this point.
The latter happened to me: I initially joined to learn from creatives in the media industry, but one day I started watching Danny Elfman without knowing who he was. I soon found out he’s the musical genius behind all kinds of film scores: Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Nightmare Before Christmas to name a few. Though I stopped watching his series halfway through (it got a little too technical for me), I walked away with a greater appreciation for music in film. Of course, I went back to my usual viewings and devoured Kelly Wearstler’s series afterward. I’m currently on episode 3 of the very cool Ron Finley—a.k.a. the Gangster Gardener. He’s making a very strong case for composting and growing your own food even when you live in a shoebox.
If you’re actively thinking about nurturing a skill (say, photography), there are some seriously helpful clips to nudge you forward. MasterClass is one of most sustainable ways to keep yourself occupied indoors; apart from the videos, there are workbooks you can download, and MasterClass has a pretty active community for support if you need it. Experts also answer questions in live Q&As (that are posted to YouTube afterward), and the platform solicits feedback via mini pop-up questionnaires, so you can share what you liked or didn’t like about a certain class, series, or instructor.
Signing up is as easy as ordering Postmates—and for the time being, the platform is offering a two-for-one deal (making it a great last-minute Mother’s Day gift or birthday present for a bored friend in quarantine). I was lucky to be gifted my all-access pass by a very generous friend right when social distancing started, but I’ll be buying it for myself once this year ends. Which brings me to one of the biggest gripes people have with MasterClass: the cost.
You can purchase an annual all-access pass for $180. But remember: Right now one pass can actually be used for two people (via two separate log-ins!)—so if you split it, that’s $90 per year, per person. It might be tough to justify spending that much, especially these days, but I thought of all the things I’d buy for the same money without hesitating—a matching sweatsuit, multiple orders of expensive takeout, fancy candles—and quickly realized this is a better place for someone to put their money if they have the means. (And if you end up not liking it, there’s always a 30-day refund.)
I’ll leave you with this: With MasterClass, you’re probably not going to emerge having shot the next Free Solo or written the next Handmaid’s Tale, but you’ll walk away having learned something. And that, my friends, is always worth adding to cart.
Originally Appeared on Glamour