Online Classes and Short Courses

Worrying what you’re going to say to the ‘What did you do during Coronavirus?’ question. Rest easy, we have lots of ideas to whet your appetite and distract you for a while from the continuing horror. Maybe you can reignite an old passion or perhaps try something new.

Free (or pay a donation) Classes

Learn Spanish (or other languages). There are many free apps but the one rated by my fellow inmate is Dualingo. You can pay to not have ads but apparently they are not too annoying. ‘Normal es’ has been ringing in my ears.

My local Riverside Studios has started Digital Dive In including a book and film club. This week’s book is Bella Figura: How to Live, Love and Eat the Italian Way, which I’ve been meaning to read for ages and is absolutely perfect for these slower times.

Tie-dyeing seems to be the latest craze. I couldn’t find any good online videos but can thoroughly recommend this step by step guide with great photographs.

Partnership Editions are running online tutorials with some of their artists – there’s Venetia Berry on Drawing the Portrait, 16 April, Jessica Yolanda Kaye on Freeing Up Your Mind and Hand, 22 April and Rose Electra Harris on drawing tulips, 29 April all at 7pm. Classes are free with a suggested voluntary donation of £10, 100% of which will be donated to The Trussell Trust – a food bank charity that is supporting those who are in need of food during the Covid Pandemic.

One-off Courses

This Complete Guide to Photography Course at £69 looks excellent.

The six-week History of Wine course from West London Wine School looks great. The next course starts on Friday 24 April for six consecutive Fridays 6–6.45pm. £50 (corresponding 12-bottle case £225).

There is currently limited availability for Prue Leith’s Essential Cooking Certificate starting 9 May. What an achievement that would be! Prue Leith £1,495 (plus £600 optional accreditation fee).

Ok, now is probably not the time to be transferring beehives from one part of the country to another BUT you can get familiar with your subjects so you’ll be ready once lockdown ends. Background to Beekeeping, £12.99 online 2.5-hour course as well as lots of resources.


Like me, you might have seen the Masterclass adverts popping up on Instagram. They have always seemed intriguing but there has never been enough time to explore thoroughly. I can now report back that the five-minute trailers for the following are all intoxicatingly brilliant. Currently there is a buy one, share a second membership for £170 a year. Make-up artist Bobbi Brown has a series of 19 video lessons.  Finally I can learn how to do the perfect smoky eye. The unparalleled Margaret Atwood teaches writing in 23 video lessons. I love her ‘The waste paper basket is your friend’ one liner. And if you’re into photography, the iconic Annie Leibovitz has 15 videos on Photography.

Writing for Inner Calm: a mindset, methods and daily exercises for all lead by Dani Shapiro was a class I absolutely LOVED. I have already committed so many of her tips to memory.  Skillshare has many other lessons from experts including watercolour painting to web development.  Two months free and then £7 a month.

Finally, everyone has a latent desire to learn the guitar, right? Fender launched its app in 2017 and is the go-to place for online learning. They are offering 3 months’ worth of free lessons.


— Annie Reid
15th April 2020