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Hans Zimmer MasterClass Review

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Movie and music buffs, this review is for you.

Hans Zimmer is one of the most well-known film score composers of the 21st century. His career as a composer took off in the 1980s when director Barry Levison hired Zimmer to score the film Rain Man (1988).

A slew of excellent film scores came next in the following decades, and there is no one else who can create music the way Zimmer does.

I’ve been a fan of Zimmer’s work ever since I was a child and watched The Lion King for the first time. When I saw that he was teaching a course on the MasterClass platform, I was instantly curious.

His style of music is instantly recognizable, but can Hans Zimmer teach as well as he composes?

Is this course worth taking? Is it the right course for you?

I answer all of these questions and numerous others in this review!

Here’s a quick rundown of everything I’ll be covering in this review:

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to create unique themes that add to the story
  • The process of creating with synths
  • How to tell a story with your score
  • The process of working with directors to create a score
  • How to get the most out of the musicians you’re working with
  • Hans’ tips on writing music


  • The chance to learn from one of the greatest modern composers of all time
  • You get the opportunity to look behind the curtain and see how scores for some of the most iconic scenes and films were written and created
  • The opportunity to learn about the process of musical composition from a master at their craft


  • This course is designed for advanced students of music and musicians with a lot of experience. It is not for beginners.
  • It is not a “how-to” course like some other classes on the MasterClass platform; you learn by paying attention to Zimmer’s experience.

Who this course is for:

This course is for students who have a solid amount of musical knowledge and are interested in learning more about composing a score for a film. I’d also recommend this course to musicians interested in learning about the process of composition. Additionally, if you aren’t a musician but a movie buff, this course might interest you!

Overall verdict:

Hans Zimmer’s MasterClass is worth taking. It is a lengthy and detailed course exploring the process of creating themes and working with a story when composing a score and working with directors, and bringing their vision to life. We’d recommend coming into this course with the expectation of learning from an expert’s experience and not through direct, spoonfed teaching. If you’re interested in learning more about using his knowledge to put together your own musical story through a score, then you’re in the right place.

MasterClass also offers a free 7-day trial, so if you are unsure about signing up for a whole month or year, you can register for the free trial and take Zimmer’s course to get a sense of what to expect from other MasterClasses as well.

About the Instructor: Hans Zimmer

It’s true when they say that the best learning happens outside the classroom.

At a young age, Zimmer rejected formal piano lessons because of how much he hated the disciple of taking classes. He went on to join a band and eventually taught himself to compose music. After Barry Levinson hired him to score the film Rain Man in 1988,  Zimmer went on to score some of the best-known films of all time.

Zimmer was nominated for his first Academy Award for Rain Man. He eventually went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Score, along with two Grammys and a Golden Globe for his work on the film The Lion King.

As his career progressed, Zimmer worked on scores for some of the best-known films and movie franchises in cinematic history, such as The Prince of Egypt, As Good As It Gets, Pirates of the Caribbean, Interstellar, and The Dark Knight.

Outside of composing scores, Zimmer has also produced the soundtracks for various films and other forms of media and contributed as a musician to a few movies.

His career has spanned over 40 decades, and it doesn’t seem as though he is slowing down any time soon. As indicated by his repertoire, he is an excellent musician and composer, so you need not worry if you had any reservations about joining this course. You’re in skillful hands.

A Detailed Look at Hans Zimmer’s MasterClass

Hans Zimmer’s masterclass is packed with tons of advice, multiple anecdotes from his career, and valuable information that you can incorporate into your daily practice of composing music.

These are the features of his masterclass:

  • Over five and a half hours of video footage, broken down into 31 videos.
  • One downloadable resource in the form of a 55-page workbook.
  • One blank notes page at the end of each chapter in the workbook, along with a summary of each lesson in the course, a Take it Further section at the end of each chapter, and assignments.
  • The Hub on the MasterClass website, where you can share your work, ask for support and help, and contribute to discussions with your peers taking this course.

Unlike some other music-related courses on the MasterClass platform, Zimmer’s does not require you to use any specific equipment or instruments, like a piano or ukulele. Instead, you’ll find that you will spend most of your time listening to him speak and absorbing everything he talks about.

I’m a firm believer that discipline takes you very far, no matter what the circumstances are. If you want to improve your skills as a musician and composer, I’d recommend going through the course only one lesson at a time, two at the very maximum. I say this because the assignment provided at the end of each lesson deserves a significant amount of time to be spent on it, instead of simply rushing through it and wasting time.

When you go through each lesson, you’ll quickly notice that the workbook accompanies the course perfectly. On the off chance that you don’t have the time to sit through one of the lessons, you needn’t worry because the workbook gives you a summary of everything that Zimmer covers in the class.

I’d also recommend that you take a printout of the entire workbook, simply because the blank pages at the end of each chapter make it easier for you to take notes while Zimmer talks. Your notes will correspond to the chapter you’re on, and if inspiration strikes, you have a piece of paper with your ideas right in front of you.

As you go through this review, you’ll find that I’ve included many of the assignments provided in the workbook. I’ve done this to give you a sense of what to expect from this masterclass. I will also divide the lessons into smaller subsections. These different sections helped me navigate the course more efficiently while also making the learning process feel less overwhelming!

  • Lessons 1,2 and 3: Introduction, Themes, and Story 

Right from the beginning section of the masterclass, you can see that Zimmer is an artist who is highly passionate about his craft. He begins by introducing you to his masterclass and explaining what it will consist of. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of encouraging you to take advice and apply it to your work! Next, he shows you how to take a theme and use it to drive the story forward. In the last lesson of this section, he shows you how to use the movie’s story to drive your music.

  • Lessons 4-6: Directors 

Directors are the people who bring films to life. They take an idea, turn it into a story, and somehow, a movie appears in front of us after months of gently coaxing that initial idea into fruition. In the three lessons on working with directors, Zimmer speaks about the process of composing a score by following the director’s lead. Collaboration is one of the main components of bringing a movie to life, and so, a film would be lost entirely without the director’s input. Each lesson in this section focuses on the different aspects of the collaborative process between composer and director.

  • Lessons 7-10: Sound Palettes, Creating with Synths, Scoring to Picture, and Scoring Under Dialogue

The following four lessons each pack a hefty punch. First, in the lesson on creating sound palettes, Hans explains how he uses the setting, color, and tone of the film to develop palettes that contribute to the film’s overall vibe. Next, in the lesson on creating with synths, Zimmer tells you how he produces sounds with his synthesizer. Finally, in the lessons on scoring to picture and scoring under dialogue, he shows how a score develops by paying close attention to the narrative and story. Your score must add an extra layer of depth to the film, but you mustn’t lose track of the film; he sheds light on these two subjects.

  • Lessons 11-13: Tempo, a Music Diary, and Sherlock Holmes 

Next up, Zimmer takes you through the process of figuring out the right tempo. Even though finding the right tempo happens intuitively for some people, this doesn’t always happen for others. After sharing some tips on working around a tempo, you will move on to the next lesson, which continues the tempo discussion. In it, Zimmer shares with you how he scored a scene from Sherlock Holmes. Finally, in the music diary, you will learn about how and why Zimmer created a music diary for each film he works on and what the music diary for Sherlock Holmes was like.

  • Lessons 14-17: Character and Character Themes 

The following four lessons dive into characters and the themes Zimmer created by using their stories. The first lesson in this section deals directly with learning how to understand a character and then use their story and emotions to inform the musical theme you develop. Zimmer focuses on three characters in the following three lessons: Batman, The Joker, and Jack Sparrow. These characters are some of the most iconic in film and pop culture. If you’re a film and movie buff, chances are you that you already associate a piece of music with them, and now that Zimmer explains the “why” behind that music, you can get a better sense of how they have come to be so recognizable.

  • Lessons 18 and 19: Case Studies on Frost/Nixon and The Dark Knight

The following two lessons are case studies on the films The Dark Knight and Frost/Nixon. In each lesson, Zimmer takes you through a few different scenes and breaks down his process of coming up with a score for those scenes. He also shares examples of scenes that don’t need scoring because they contain enough tension and impeccable acting.

  • Lessons 20-24: Working with Musicians, Feedback and Revisions

Now that you’ve understood certain aspects of film scoring, such as working around a theme and story, it’s time to hear Zimmer’s tips on working with musicians. After sharing his reasons for hiring musicians, he moves on to talking about working with an orchestra. Next, he talks about feedback and revisions in the remaining three lessons of this section. Revising your work and getting feedback from a director is a crucial element of any collaborative process, especially when it comes to the process of filmmaking. In these lessons, Zimmer shares his tips on making revisions after getting feedback and listening to the director.

  • Lessons 25-28: Writing Tips, Hans’ Journey, and Learning by Listening

The first two lessons in this next section are Zimmer’s tips on writing. He shares several different tips to help you get started writing music, many of which are actually transferable pieces of advice. After that, the next lesson is more of a storytelling session where he shares his journey from sneaking into a theatre at 12 years old to becoming the composer he is today. Finally, he shares some tips on how to learn simply from listening to your fellow musicians and the people you work with when playing.

  • Lessons 29-31: Life of a Composer and a Conclusion 

The final section of Zimmer’s masterclass feels slightly bittersweet because we’ve come to the end of 31 beautiful lessons, where we go to listen to a master of their craft. In the two lessons on a composer’s life, Zimmer talks about life as a musician and composer. He shares some inspirational messages, and most importantly, encourages you to remain true to yourself. In the final lesson, he shares his final thoughts, and the masterclass comes to a close.

Lessons 1,2 and 3: Introduction, Themes, and Story

As someone who is primarily tone-deaf and can’t play any instrument to save their life, I was extremely curious to see what a course on film scoring would look like, and I was pleasantly surprised by Hans Zimmer’s teaching results.

Right from the introductory lesson, his passion for music comes through. I stupidly assumed that composition wasn’t nearly as hard as directing a film or acting in it, but I was definitely mistaken.

After a quick introduction to the course, Zimmer dives right into working around a theme in the second lesson, titled ‘Themes.’ No matter what film you’re working on, your job as a composer is to create a musical theme that both adds to the story and nudges it forward. Zimmer believes that the theme should tell the parallel story that the director hopes to tell and that it shouldn’t exist individually. He recommends choosing a key that allows you the room to express a vast range of emotions. He also recommends creating a motif when you begin to compose. Once you do that, you can continue to develop it throughout the entire composition process.

To take the first step towards practicing with a theme, you could try out one of the two assignments provided at the end of the second lesson:

  • Practice choosing a key strategically by thinking through each key—how does each key sound to you? How does it make you feel? Write down the emotions or keywords that you associate with each key, and use this as a guide to choose a key for your next theme.
  • Hans suggests thinking about a theme as a set of questions and answers. Find a scene you love in a film, and create an original score by setting up a question and answer motif. Think about the fact that you know how the scene ends before the audience does, and establish a question at the beginning knowing how the scene will conclude. Write a cue that highlights those questions and answer them.

In the final lesson of the first section, titled ‘Story,’ Zimmer stresses the importance of sticking to the story when building your score. To write a truly magnificent score, he recommends living inside the world of the story because that will help you create the piece of music you want to write. Zimmer likes to sit with the director rather than read the script because Zimmer feels that sitting with the director helps him get inside their head to see how they want the story to turn out. He recommends learning about the rules of the story in the first conversation that you have with the director, then using those rules as a framework for writing the score.

Now that you’ve come to the end of the lesson on working around a story, it’s time to move on to section two!

Lessons 4-6: Directors

The second section of Zimmer’s masterclass is a three-part mini masterclass on working with a film director. They are the life forces behind every single movie ever made because they are the ones who bring a specific vision to life on a big screen!

Movies aren’t made singlehandedly, so your job as the composer and film scorer is to pay attention to the director’s vision and idea and do your best to execute it musically. In this section of the masterclass, Zimmer constantly stresses the importance of working collaboratively. The three lessons flow into one another, so instead of summarizing each one, here is a list of some of the advice shared in the three lessons:

  • Have conversations with the director that sneak up on the film.
  • Remember that some questions are for the producer and not the director. (For example, as them about how long you’ll have the string quartet, then plan ahead for the duration of their employment on the film.)
  • Start collaborating with the director before the filming begins.
  • If things go a bit awry, remind the director of their intentions.
  • Trust each other throughout the entire process.
  • Support each other as you both pursue your best work.

Here is the assignment included at the end of this second section in the workbook, should you want to give it a try:

Think about one of your favorite directors. Find an interview in which he/she talks about the making of one of his/her films. Use this as a jumping-off point to create your own version of a score that’s informed by how the director talks about their intentions behind the film. How can you translate the director’s approach to telling the story into a score that helps serve that narrative? Share your theme with your peers in The Hub.

After gaining some insight into the process of working with a director, it is now time to move on to the next section of Zimmer’s masterclass.

Lessons 7-10: Sound Palettes, Creating with Synths, Scoring to Picture, and Scoring Under Dialogue

I thought that this section was one of the most interesting sections of the entire masterclass. Even though I cannot play any music, I’ve been a massive fan of Zimmer’s work ever since I saw The Lion King as a child.

In lesson 7, titled ‘Sound Palettes,’ Zimmer talks about using a unique sound palette to give Gotham City its own atmosphere in the Batman movies and its own unique sound. He thinks that music and image complement each other, so his process is to try and develop sound palettes that coexist with the director and cinematographer’s approach to telling a story through the film. He recommends setting your sound palette up early on in the movie. This way, you invite the audience to go on a journey into a new world that is elevated by the sounds you create.

Next up is lesson 8, titled ‘Creating With Synths,’ Zimmer takes you through the ways he uses the synthesizer to build sound palettes and new sounds. For him, a synth is a tool that allows him to have fun and experiment with different sounds, and so, he encourages you to have fun while creating.

If you want to try using a synthesizer in a new way, you can try out the assignment provided at the end of the tenth lesson:

Pull out your synthesizer and prep your palette. Pick your favorite synth and create a cue based on a patch you produce from scratch. Compose a three-minute-long track and share your theme tracks, along with the type of synthesizer you used, in The Hub.

Once you’ve learned more about creating with a synthesizer, it’s time to move on to the ninth and tenth lessons, titled ‘Scoring to Picture’ and ‘Scoring Under Dialogue,’ respectively.

In the lesson on scoring to a picture, Zimmer adds to his point in the third lesson. He suggests that you use the whole story to figure out a set of rules and a framework to operate within when writing a piece and establishing a narrative. Once you’ve figured out the themes and sound palettes you want to work with, he recommends adding something extra that will help contribute to the audience’s experience when watching the film.

A valuable piece of advice shared in this section is to trust your instincts but recognize that there will be times when music isn’t necessary for a scene.

In the final lesson of this section, which deals with scoring under dialogue, Zimmer stresses the importance of ensuring that your score only elevates the film and dialogue but doesn’t take any of the viewer’s focus away from it.

To practice scoring a scene packed with dialogue, you could try out this assignment provided at the end of lesson ten:

Pick one of your favorite films. Now find a dialogue scene where a character is placed either close to the audience in the frame, and find a dialogue scene where a character is placed far away in the frame. Think about how you’d place your instruments in the sound field relative to where your characters are in the scene. Share the scenes you chose with your peers in The Hub, and discuss with them how they’d approach scoring and recording to those scenes.

After learning how to score under dialogue, you’ve come to the end of section three!

Lessons 11-13: Tempo, a Music Diary, and Sherlock Holmes

The next section of Zimmer’s masterclass focuses solely on tempo. In lesson 11, titled ‘Tempo,’ he talks about how finding the correct tempo doesn’t always happen intuitively for a lot of musicians. He recommends using your editor as your guide while you figure out how to work the tempo that best suits the scene you’re working on. Once you’ve edited, he then recommends using your edit as the drumming section of the score.

After some quick tips on figuring out the number of beats per minute, the lesson that follows is a short, four-minute class where Zimmer walks you through the way he scored a scene from the movie Sherlock Holmes

In the final lesson of this section, titled ‘Music Diary: Sherlock Holmes,’ Zimmer breaks down the music diary he kept when working on Sherlock Holmes and the process he goes through when he starts to write the score for a film. After he has some understanding of what the story is after talking to a director, he begins to write by keeping a music diary. In it, he jots down his ideas and thoughts every day.

Here are some tips provided in the workbook on keeping a music diary:

  • Start writing, even if you don’t think it works. You can always leave it out of your score.
  • Don’t go back and edit your own work. Keep writing! You might find that an old, untouched piece works better for a different section of the film.
  • Don’t worry about transitions between pieces; you’re not creating a full score just yet.
  • You can play with tempos in your diary as well.

After going through the Sherlock Holmes music diary, you’ve come to the end of the section on tempo!

Lessons 14-17: Character and Character Themes

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about working with tempo and keeping a music diary to have a record of all your thoughts and ideas, it’s time to move on to working with and around characters in a film!

The first lesson in this section is simply titled ‘Character.’ Zimmer recommends getting to know and understand your character in two different ways. First, you could try reading the script to try and make sense of their feelings and thoughts. Second, you could ask your director to tell you the character’s story. As a composer, your job is to understand them wholly, from their past and present to their hopes, fears, dreams, and other situations that contributed to their development.

By fully understanding the characters and trying to relate to them, you create a jumping-off point for yourself.

When scoring for a particular character, we’d recommend that you try out the assignment provided at the end of lesson 14:

Think about a close friend and create a character theme for him/her. Take inspiration from Hans and try to create a backstory for your friend. Relate to him/her, come up with a trait that you share, and create a theme that builds from that trait. Thinking back to the Sound Palettes chapter, how does his/her name announce the culture he/she comes from, and how can that knowledge help build the sonic palette behind your theme? Share your themes in The Hub and provide feedback for your classmates.

Now, you have some understanding of what you could do to try and ease the process of scoring for a character. It’s time to take a journey further inside Zimmer’s head as he explains how he created strong character themes for some of the most memorable characters in cinematic history. He walks you through the development of The Joker, Batman, and Jack Sparrow.

As he begins these lessons, Zimmer recommends trying to show the audience what they cannot see. For example, you could ask yourself what the characters are driven by or if they are hiding anything from you. Again, he recommends relating to them to create some common ground and a jumping-off point for yourself.

In each of the three lessons, Zimmer shares his process surrounding the musical themes he developed for each character. For instance, when working on the music for the Joker, he chose to work around the Joker’s sense of anarchy. Still, when working on Batman’s theme, he created a simple melody that represented Batman’s struggle to accept his parents’ deaths.

The lesson on Jack Sparrow’s character theme brings this section to a close.

Lessons 18 and 19: Case Studies on Frost/Nixon and The Dark Knight

This next section is relatively short, as Zimmer takes you through his work on Frost/Nixon and The Dark Knight. In addition to discussing creating tension in certain scenes, he also shares examples of scenes that didn’t require scoring.

If for whatever reason, you choose to go through the lessons in a different order,  we’d recommend going through these two case studies towards the end of your viewing because they provide you with a nice break from all of the knowledge and ideas that Zimmer shares!

Lessons 20-24: Working with Musicians, Feedback and Revisions

As you’ve probably noticed, we’re slowly reaching the end of Zimmer’s course.

This section focuses on working with musicians. Zimmer tends to pick them based on more than just their technical skills and strengths when choosing musicians. He examines their abilities to bring emotional depth to the music and avoids working with a big orchestra. For Zimmer, a smaller group of musicians can bring more to the piece because they are more expressive. He recommends that you write music that plays to the strengths of your musicians and their instruments but make sure that they will work with you without making excuses.

If you’re trying to write music for a larger orchestra, you could try out this assignment to see what qualities you’d like to bring out in someone else’s playing of your music:

Imagine one of your favorite instrumentalists—your favorite guitarist, cellist, drummer, etc—and write an original cue with that person in mind. Take note of what attributes or qualities of their playing justifies what you’re trying to achieve in your writing. How are you writing this cue differently than if you were to hire any other musician? Share your cues and what you observed in The Hub.

The following two lessons on working with musicians focus on working with an orchestra. As Zimmer mentions earlier, working on a film score means that the filmmaking process is mainly collaborative. Zimmer recommends earning your players’ respect first by inspiring them to support your creative ideas when communicating with your orchestra. He suggests writing a short piece that they aren’t familiar with to push them a little further.

If you find yourself struggling with the way a particular section of the music sounds, remember that you must communicate how you’re feeling to them. Communication is critical if you want your music to be the best it can be.

The last two lessons of this section focus on getting feedback and making revisions. As hard as it can be to hear the truth, you need to listen to it more often than not. A simple conversation is all it takes, so talk to your editor and director as soon as possible so that you can make revisions early on in the scoring process.

Lessons 25-28: Writing Tips, Hans’ Journey, and Learning by Listening

Unfortunately, we’re nearing the end of Zimmer’s excellent masterclass!

The second last section starts to wrap up everything else that he’s taught you so far. First, in lessons 25 and 26, titled ‘Writing Tips: Parts 1 and 20,’ he shares an extensive list of tips to help you get started on writing a film score. Some of them are as follows:

  • Start a music diary and write music for imaginary scenes.
  • Write every day.
  • Experiment with different sounds and instruments.
  • Always stay organized.

If you want to take some of the provided writing tips further, you could try out the assignment from the Take it Further section at the end of chapter 25:

  • In this chapter, Hans references John Powell, a fellow film composer. Read this interview with Powell to gain insight into another professional’s perspective on the industry. Learn about the challenges and rewards of scoring a film, and explore further many of the concepts that Hans covers in this lesson, such as working with a budget and collaborating with directors.
  • Hans talks about how technological advances have changed the process of scoring a film. Read more on the subject in this interview with Dan Carlin, Chair of Berklee College of Music’s Film Scoring Department.

In lesson 27, he shares how he became a composer. Spoiler alert: it was his love for storytelling that pushed him to become who he is today! This lesson was an excellent way to sit back and listen to him talk about himself and his journey from humble beginnings to a well-respected composer.

Finally, in the last lesson of this section, Zimmer shares the most essential part of being a composer: being a good listener. For him, listening is more than just hearing what your director or fellow players and collaborators are saying. He recommends listening beyond what they are playing and saying by identifying moments of emotion and how they express themselves.

To close this last section, Zimmer shares some of his musical influences.

It’s time to move on to the last section of the course!

Lessons 29-31: Life of a Composer and a Conclusion

We’ve reached the end of the course, and I think you’d agree that every lesson included in Hans Zimmer’s masterclass was nothing short of amazing.

This final section is the shortest one in the course. Zimmer shares his experience of being a composer. I appreciated this section because it was honest and realistic. He points out that breaking into the entertainment industry isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and that you must be willing to dig your heels in and work hard to get somewhere. However, he also points out that originality is what will take you far in life. Focus on what makes you feel good and excited, and start from there.

In the final lesson, he shares some closing thoughts, and with that, you’ve come to the end of Hans Zimmer’s masterclass in film scoring.

What I Liked About Hans Zimmer’s MasterClass 

  1. Hans Zimmer’s teaching style

I truly appreciated Zimmer’s teaching style. He does not spoon-feed you or give you direct instructions telling you what to do, but instead, he teaches you in a way that gives you an idea of how to go about composing. He’s also one of the more relatable and down-to-earth teachers on the MasterClass platform due to how humble he is. Zimmer does not shy away from talking about his insecurities as a musician and feeling daunted by the task of scoring a film.

He is genuine and sincere, and most importantly, his passion for music rings through every lesson.

  1. The Length of the Course and the Attention to Detail

This course is one of the longer courses on MasterClass, which means that you cannot get through the lessons in a single sitting. Some of you might wish that the lessons were a bit shorter or more concise. Still, I appreciated Zimmer’s attention to detail to the different aspects of composition, such as working on the themes for other characters like Jack Sparrow, Batman, or the Joker. He spends whole lessons talking about the ‘why’ behind certain musical decisions based on scenes and characters. If you’re interested in scoring for films, these lessons will definitely help you if you’re stuck or intimidated by the process.

Additionally, the MasterClass website offers you the chance to take notes while watching the course on your computer, as shown in the image below:

While I didn’t use the notes feature, I thought that it was a nice touch because it offers users the chance to take notes and jot down their thoughts quickly while taking the course.

  1. The Structure and Organization of the Lessons

I feel as though I’ve said this multiple times in other reviews, but you cannot fault the organization and structure of the lessons. MasterClass does a wonderful job of organizing course lessons! Even though I divided the lessons into smaller sections for my convenience, I wouldn’t recommend you do the same because of how well the course flows.

The lessons are organized to take you through the various elements of composition, from working with a theme and the story to selecting musicians for your orchestra, along with tips on writing music. Some of the lessons are less than ten minutes long, so you could also take two lessons at a time! However, no matter how you choose to take the course, you’ll soon come to realize that it is organized exceptionally well.

What I Didn’t Like About Hans Zimmer’s MasterClass

  1. The Misleading Title

Zimmer’s course is titled ‘Hans Zimmer teaches Film Scoring.’ While I admit that he does teach you about scoring a film, he gives you more of an inside look at the process of scoring a movie rather than how to go about scoring the film itself. If you are going into this class hoping for Film Scoring 101, I’d suggest you look elsewhere.

Who is Hans Zimmer’s MasterClass for?

This masterclass is for anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes process of scoring a film. It is not an introduction to film-related music theory, nor is it a guide giving you steps on how to go about scoring. Instead, it gives you an idea of building a score using the movie’s story and working with a theme.

I’d recommend this course to anyone who has a good understanding of music theory. I’d also recommend it to anyone interested in films themselves and who wants to learn more about the music production process.

MasterClass Pricing: How Much Does This Course Cost?

MasterClass offers two different payment options.

You can either buy the course individually as a gift for $90, or you can pay for an entire year’s All Access subscription to MasterClass for $180 a year. This is billed at $15 a month.

In my opinion, the yearly subscription is a great bargain because you get an all-inclusive pass to some of the world’s leading experts on various topics. For example, you could learn about Spray Painting and Abstract Art from Futura, Wilderness Survival from Jessie Krebs, Style for Everyone by Tan France, or even The Science of Better Sleep from Matthew Walker; all from the same platform!

For the amount of information you get from these experts, $15 a month is a great price, especially if you can find a few classes that you like.

Alternatives to Hans Zimmer’s MasterClass

If scoring for a movie isn’t something you want to continue after taking Zimmer’s course, you don’t have to look much further for music-related courses because MasterClass has quite a selection to choose from.

For example, you could learn about Music Curation and DJing from Questlove, Songwriting and Producing from Alicia Keys, Music for Film by Danny Elfman, or Electronic Music Production from deadmau5.

However, if you’re not satisfied with the choices on MasterClass, you could consider investing in Udemy or Skillshare.

Skillshare is free for 14 days after creating an account in terms of the cost, and Skillshare Premium is free for seven days after creating an account. Once your free trial is over, Skillshare Premium is $8.25 for the annual membership, with $99 in total for one year or $19 per month

Benjamin Lynott, a veteran music producer and audio engineer, teaches a course called Orchestral Music Composition & Music Theory for Video Games – Learn Video Game Music Composition. This course is over eight hours long and contains 79 lessons ranging from 2-22 minutes each. Additionally, Jonathan Armandary teaches you Film Scoring in Logic Pro X. Jonathan is an award-winning composer and instructor. His course is five hours long and includes 33 lessons. Finally, Mikael Baggström teaches Cinematic Music Composition – Rhythm & Percussion. His course is over four hours long and contains 18 lessons.

If you don’t want to invest in a platform that you might not use all the time but still want to take a course, you’re in luck because Udemy is the solution to your problems. Courses on Udemy are priced individually, so it’s perfect if you’re on a budget. The best part about Udemy is that they have sales and discounts quite often, so if your timing is right, you might be able to sign up for a course that costs less than $10-15!

Jason Allen teaches a music composition course that is sold as a bundle. It is called Music Composition Bundle: Composition & Film Scoring 1 & 2, and it is a bestseller on Udemy. At present, this course has seen over 12,000 students, and it has a 4.4-star rating as well. Chester Sky also teaches a course on film scoring called Soundtrack Composer Masterclass: Score Films and Video Games. Chester’s course also has a 4.4-star rating, and it has seen over 2,000 students sign up for it.

Of course, we understand that you might not want to invest in a learning platform before getting an idea of what film scoring is like. In that case, we’d recommend everyone’s favorite free platform, YouTube.

YouTube has quite a few videos teaching you how to score films, but a channel that I discovered when researching was Matthias Holmgren’s channel. He teaches a class called Film Scoring For Beginners E01 – Spotting, Tempo & Arranging with over 71,000 views! Additionally, Holmgren covers various other aspects of music, such as music theory and product reviews. To learn about the basics of film scoring for beginners, you can check out his 101 class. It contains eight videos ranging from 7-29 minutes each.

Is Hans Zimmer’s class worth it?

The short answer is yes, it is.

The class gives you an idea of what the creative process behind film scoring is like. However, as I said before, don’t go into the course hoping to learn how to actually score a film because you won’t get much out of it in that regard.

In this review, I took you through a detailed review of Hans Zimmer’s masterclass, alternatives to his class, and information about MasterClass’s pricing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hans Zimmer’s MasterClass a good gift?


A single class costs $90, and an All-Access Pass costs $180. The second option would be better because you get access to over 90 different courses taught by leading experts in the industry for one year.

How long is the Hans Zimmer MasterClass?

Zimmer’s MasterClass is five hours and 40 minutes long, divided into 31 lessons.

Can I get a refund if I don’t like the MasterClass?

If you are not satisfied with the MasterClass and want a refund, you are eligible for a refund if you purchased your annual membership through the website within the last 30 days. Click here for more information.

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