MasterClass Lets You Hone Your Craft With World-Famous Instructors

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You can't teach experience ... but you sure can learn from it. That's the philosophy behind MasterClass, an immersive online platform that lets people learn from A-list experts in their fields. What if you could learn comedy with Steve Martin? Or learn how to cook with Gordon Ramsay? How about composing and music production with Armin van Buuren or Deadmau5? Could you be the next Jane Goodall? It might feel like you can never achieve their levels of success, but everyone starts somewhere — even your idols.

Practice Makes Perfect

The founders of MasterClass told the Los Angeles Times that in addition to teaching new skills, their programs serve a larger purpose: dispelling the myth that success has to do strictly with innate talent instead of a dogged work ethic. It's true: with the exception of height and body size, the idea that you're limited by genetic factors — what most people would call "innate talent" — is a myth.

Psychologist Anders Ericsson and science writer Robert Pool focused on this myth in their 2016 book "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise." "The most important gifts we can give our children are confidence in their ability to remake themselves again and again and the tools with which to do that job," Ericsson wrote. And you'll hear that sentiment echoed by many of the "naturals" teaching each MasterClass.

"I started to DJ in these really, really small clubs," platinum-selling DJ Armin van Buuren says in his MasterClass. "I'd put on my new song ... and then nothing happens on the dance floor. So you go back into the studio until it's perfect." In his class on comedy, Steve Martin assures students he had no talent when he was an aspiring stand-up. And in her MasterClass, Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren admits that she never attended drama school. Seems even the greats are aware that perfect practice makes perfect. The idea of reaching super stardom feels a bit less daunting now, doesn't it?

Masters Of The Universe

So-called masters have taught apprentices throughout history, but historically, those lucky few have been chosen based on social status or political connections. To connect to a modern-day master, on the other hand, you can gift a single MasterClass for just $90 – or an all-access pass to every MasterClass for a year for $180. Unlike a college course or other private classes, however, you won't have to shell out an arm and a leg for materials on top of that.

"'Sherlock' is a score anybody could do. One microphone on a laptop," Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer says in his MasterClass. "Ideas are not limited by budget. The creative process takes place in your head."

DeadMau5 echoes his sentiment: "This can all be done correctly with a minimal amount of software, which is why you can have a kid make a dance hit on a laptop."

Don't worry if you need help staying organized, either: in addition to the video courses themselves, you'll get a class outline, suggested viewing schedule, recaps, and even assignments to keep you engaged and help you practice what you've learned before continuing in the series. Not too bad of a deal when working with some of the world's most accomplished writers, performers, and athletes.

Whether you want to learn about comedy, cooking, writing, singing, acting, chess, jazz, tennis, photography, or even building a fashion brand, MasterClass has a world-class instructor who can guide you. Give a gift that helps you grow with online classes taught by the world's best.

Armin van Buuren Teaches Dance Music

Helen Mirren Teaches Acting

Steve Martin Teaches Comedy

Written by Cody Gough December 19, 2017
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