All products and services featured are independently chosen by editors. However, Billboard may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
MasterClass is known for its highly rated online courses taught by some of the most talented creatives out there, including plenty of musicians with pricing starting at just $15/month. John Legend is the latest recording artist to teach a class on songwriting, the platform announced on Thursday (Aug. 25).
“Songs are core to who we are and are such an important part of humanity,” the EGOT winner said in a statement. “My class will give you the tools to find your voice, figure out who you are and establish yourself with longevity so you can make a real impact through music.”
It’s unclear if MasterClass will bring back its popular two-for-one deal for the month of September, which gets you two unlimited MasterClass annual memberships for the price of one. The “buy one, get one” deal offers new members a subscription to gift to someone else.
In the meantime, keep reading for a roundup of incredible courses available on MasterClass, and sign up here or click the link below to join.
John Legend – Songwriting
In his class, Legend teaches members how to “capture experiences, convey feelings and inspire a movement through music.” With his hit songs “All of Me,” “Again” and “Dope” as case studies, the 12-time Grammy winner shares how he uses mumble tracks to write melodies and how he structures songs to tell a story. In the class, Legend also provides a behind-the-scenes look into how he and Common co-wrote the Oscar-winning song “Glory” from the Selma soundtrack.
Mariah Carey – Using the Voice as an Instrument
From one Legend to another! Mariah Carey’s Masterclass teaches students how to use their voice as an instrument. In nine video lessons (1 hour and 44 minutes each), the Songbird shares how she uses her legendary voice to craft timeless songs, collaborate with other artists and produce. Students will also get to discover how some of her biggest hits were created.
“I’m super excited to share what I’ve been working on: my first-ever class on the voice as an instrument,” Carey wrote in an Instagram post announcing her MasterClass.
Questlove – DJing and Musical Curation
“To be honest with you, not drumming in the world’s funkiest group, not the book writing, not being on late night television — my first love is records,” the beloved Roots drummer — who’s won six Grammys and an Oscar — says in a two-minute trailer. “I’ve been listening and analyzing records since the age of five. I’ve never shared the method to my madness, or my secrets or creative process in DJing until right now.”
Alicia Keys – Songwriting and Producing
The 15-time Grammy Award winner knows a thing or two on how to capture hearts with song, and in her 19-lesson MasterClass, Keys breaks down some of her best-known hits like “Fallin'” to share how she “writes lyrics, crafts melodies, and explores sonics so you can discover the music you were born to make.”
Tom Morello – Electric Guitar
The two-time Grammy-winning artist behind Rage Against the Machine‘s wild guitar riffs is teaching everything from theory, gear, influences, recording and, of course, how to rock a solo in his first online class.
“I didn’t trust teachers, I didn’t trust politicians, I didn’t trust people on the evening news. I trusted music,” the rocker shares in the trailer. “The language of my life is written in rock ‘n roll, and punk rock and hip-hop.”
Hans Zimmer – Film Scoring
“In music, you’re basically having a conversation,” says the legendary composer behind more than 150 films, including Inception, The Lion King, and The Dark Knight.
For his 31-lesson course, the self-taught two-time Academy Award winner and four-time Grammy winner shares how he “creates sounds from nothing, composes compelling character themes, and scores a movie before ever seeing it.”
Reba McEntire – Country Music
For her MasterClass, the Oklahoma native — with three Grammys to her name — breaks down performance techniques, does case studies on her hits, shares how to build a career in country music and even delivers an emotional performance at the Grand Ole Opry.
Christina Aguilera – Singing
Who better to teach how to nail a vocal run than powerhouse five-time Grammy winner Xtina? Her 23-lesson class breaks down warm-up exercises, breath control, vibrato, her signature growls, expanding range, finding your voice, performance techniques and more.
“Technique is only a quarter of it,” she explains in the trailer. “Passion and drive is, like, 100% of it.”
Deadmau5 – Electronic Music Production
Deadmau5 — a six-time Grammy nominee — takes his mask off for his 23-lesson EDM course, which teaches theory, tips for building a home studio and “how he approaches melodies, mixing and mastering to make unique sounds you can’t find in a cookie cutter sample pack.”
Herbie Hancock – Jazz
In 25 lessons, the legendary jazz artist is teaching his secrets to mastering the compelling genre, including improvisation, learning by listening, piano basics, harmonies, musical emotion and more. Hancock — who has won 14 Grammys and one Oscar — is also offering original piano transcriptions, including five exclusive solo performances.
St. Vincent – Creativity and Songwriting
“If you have ears and ideas, you can make anything happen,” three-time Grammy winner St. Vincent teases in the trailer for her 16-lesson songwriting class, in which she breaks down every step in writing her song “Savior,” plus tips on how to “record music, write songs, improve your guitar skills, and embrace your vulnerability.”