Why Choose Blue Bear?

10 reasons to choose Blue Bear for your music studies


1. Experienced, professional teachers and time-tested programs

Not every great musician is also a great teacher. At Blue Bear, you can rest assured that our teachers are committed to teaching as a profession, not just to make some extra money on the side. And if a teacher you start with doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, it’s easy to notify our staff and request a different teacher. Blue Bear has been offering popular music instruction since 1971, so our programming reflects long experience and lots of student feedback (90% of our students come from personal recommendation).

2. Relaxed, fun and supportive atmosphere

Most of our students are people who want to play music for their own personal enjoyment. The atmosphere of the school is casual and supportive, not academic and competitive. (Of course many of our students are very serious about their studies.)

3. School environment that inspires and motivates

Hearing the sounds of music being played around you and being with others who are learning can really inspire and motivate you in your own studies.

4. Make connections

Blue Bear is a community, a great place to make connections. Many of our Band Workshops have spun off practice bands that continue to play together long after the end of the quarter. Some have even turned into regularly gigging bands. And of course many friendships have begun in Blue Bear classes.

5. Free consultation with our Program Director

As a new student, you’ll meet with our Program Director, who can answer your questions about our programs, the process of learning music and your musical goals. Together you’ll determine what teachers and/or classes are best suited to your needs. Consultations are available whenever you have questions about what you should do next. Or ask now!

6. Parking is easily available

Parking in the pay lot is usually easy at Fort Mason Center. Sometimes special events at Fort Mason make finding a space more difficult. Extra parking is available for free outside the gates along the Marina green or in the nearby neighborhood. We give our students advance warning with email alerts when we know in advance that parking might be difficult. You can also check on our Calendar for Parking Alerts.

7. Small group class sizes

Group classes for music instruction are most effective when class sizes are relatively small. Most of our guitar classes are limited to six or seven students. Voice classes that involve solo singing are usually limited to five or six. Most of our vocal technique classes are limited to eight. At these sizes the teacher can give individual attention as needed.

8. Flexible payment and scheduling options for private lessons

Our payment options are flexible: you can pay by the lesson, prepay for four lessons, or for the lowest per-lesson rate, prepay for ten lessons. Refunds for unused lessons are available. We offer half-hour and one-hour lessons. Hour lessons can be taken weekly or every-other-week. Some people schedule lessons irregularly, on an ad hoc basis. You don’t need to commit to a certain number of lessons and you may cancel any scheduled lesson for a $5 administrative fee if you give us two days advance notice. (Most other schools do not allow any cancellations.)

9. Great location in historic urban park at the edge of San Francisco Bay

Blue Bear is located at Fort Mason Center, a National Historic Landmark and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Center houses more than 40 nonprofit organizations including museums, theaters, a bookstore and a City College art campus. The views of the bay and the bridge are great.

10. Friendly desk staff to assist you

Our desk staff is available to assist you with scheduling changes and many other details that come up, so your instructor can concentrate on what he or she does best: teaching music.