What’s a Masterclass

In college, you might hear about guest lecturers or seminars, and you have maybe even heard of a masterclass. In case you haven’t or in case you don’t know what a masterclass is, I am going to tell you the ins and outs of the special class.

Killer Harmony | In college, you will probably have a guest come to teach at your school, but what is it that they do? That would be a masterclass.

Without further ado, here is everything you should know about masterclasses!

The Basics

Basically, a masterclass is when a guest “master” comes to your college or school to teach a group of students something. This allows you to get a different perspective on a certain topic in your major. Especially at a small school, you will have a small faculty. Your professors might not have a ton of differing views. As a music major, masterclasses give me the chance to learn about my instrument from people other than my primary teacher.

The Benefits

You can learn a lot from a masterclass. You get to learn something from a different person than you usually do. You can learn new techniques for practicing your craft, such a small music or writing. You can learn about a person’s experiences that maybe your professors haven’t had.

The Preparation

Preparing for a masterclass will differ based on what your major is. Since I have been to multiple music masterclasses, that is what I am going to talk about. When I prepare for a masterclass, I first need to figure out what I will be playing. Once I know the piece, I work on it with my primary professor more than I would any other piece. I will be performing for a guest, and I want to be prepared.

The Class

During a masterclass, you are most likely not the only person that will be playing. You will have to sit through a few other students’ lessons in addition to your own. This means that they can get pretty long depending on the subject and the lessons being given. So be prepared to sit for a long time.

My Thoughts

Overall, masterclasses can be a great way to learn from people that you normally would not have the chance to work with. They can open you and your professor and classmates up to new ideas and theories in your major. While I may not become a professional musician, the masterclasses that I have attended as a music major have benefited me as a musician. I think that if you have a chance to just go to a masterclass, whether you participate or not, you should take that opportunity. It can broaden your horizons, and you can even make new connections.


So, I know this was a bit shorter than some of my posts, but I didn’t really have a ton of stuff to say. What inspired me to post about masterclasses today is that I will be playing in one this afternoon. I thought that would make for the perfect time to post about what a masterclass is. I hope you liked it!

Have you been to a masterclass before? What was it like? Leave your thoughts below in the comments!

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@HannahHaefele) so you don’t miss my future blog posts. And you can catch up on previous blogs by scrolling through the archives!

Thanks for reading!

Killer Harmony | In college, you will probably have a guest come to teach at your school, but what is it that they do? That would be a masterclass.

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