Carmen Cansino

Carmen C.

Emeryville, CA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
"I teach all styles of drumming, but I try to match the student with the style that they love. It’s that love of music that will push them to try harder, reach farther and become a true musician. My students have the opportunity to learn how to read, write and transcribe drum charts as well how to maintain and tune their drums. I teach my students how to play along with recordings and encourage them to join a band or ensemble so that they can experience the joy of music from the start."

About Carmen C.

I have been a teacher and performer in the San Francisco Bay area for over 30 years.

I teach Rock, Blues, Jazz, Funk, Latin, and Classical styles on drum set and percussion instruments.

I provide all of the sheet music as well as the recordings that I utilize for the student's assignments.

I also provide Sibelius drum music, so that the student can play along with the music with their Ipad or other device.


Write a Review
15 Reviews
Kay D.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Carmen is top notch! She has been teaching our children for five years, and has been extraordinary all the way. It began when she personally delivered a used drum set to our home that she hand selected for us. Then it continues with her high energy and motivational techniques to make the lessons fun - yet challenging and exciting as well. Technology is engaged to maintain the experience at home.

Carmen's communication is second to none as well. We often work during the lessons and a sitter drives the kids to their lessons. Carmen makes sure to follow up with us (when needed) regarding lesson plans, areas to improve, and even readiness for future tasks. In a word - amazing!

We are so grateful to have Carmen as the person to foster in our children a lifelong love of music and an eagerness to learn about it. Thanks, Carmen!

Posted Aug 28, 2015
Maria Farah Gwendolyn R.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Effective instructor. She spreads positivity and makes learning fun. The best indeed!

Posted Jul 23, 2015
Agata O.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Carmen has been teaching drums to my now 10-year old son for three years. Her patience, extensive repertoire of teaching methods always adapted to his learning style and progress, her contagious energy and her love of all things drums kept my son's motivation high and let him grow his abilities. I am very proud and impressed when he reads drums scores or figures out the beat of a song. Perhaps the two hardest parts for this young man were learning to play with the metronome and regularly practicing his rudiments. Carmen's many teacher's tricks, including books, posters, recordings, apps and well timed challenges with awesome awards have helped him stay on track.

Carmen keeps detailed notes about each of her students so her attention is always spot on and personalized. She makes herself available for any questions outside the classroom. A great person to be around and a talented musician, Carmen will find a way to make you into the drummer you dream to be.

Posted Jun 1, 2015
Lawrence C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

To learn a cool instrument, you need a cool teacher, and Carmen is the coolest! It's so fun to take her class. I even love it as a parent, hanging out during the lesson and I see why my 8 year old loves coming to class. She's a true professional and her passion is infectious.

Carmen also has a way with kids. She pays enough attention to the kid to figure out their personality and draws them out. Little prizes, lots of praise, and my kid is highly motivated to learn and even practice at home.

Carmen uses a lot of technology to help them practice at home. I wish we had that when I was a kid. And did I mention how cool she is?

Posted May 28, 2015
Mike M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Carmen has been teaching my Son now for around 2 years. She is a fantastic drum teacher. Just being an great drummer does not mean you are an great teacher. Carmen is both an amazing drummer and amazing teacher. James loves his drum lessons and has a great love for the playing the drums as well. He has progressed so far in a short amount of time, its fantastic. I would highly recommend Carmen, she goes out of her way to make sure her students both learn and enjoy the drums.

Posted May 28, 2015
Yoko N.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Carmen is a dedicated, hardworking professional. She is super passionate about making and teaching music. She is a great role model for my daughter, who has been taking lesson from Carmen for about 4 years now. Carmen's style of teaching is very student-centered. She listens to my daughter patiently and they select together what songs to work on. My daughter is a drummer for a high school rock band, and it's a pleasure to see her perform, showcasing what she has been learning from Carmen. We also enjoy Carmen's upbeat, laid back personality. We highly recommend Carmen!

Posted May 27, 2015
Craig Z.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My daughter and I have been taking lessons with Carmen for over four years now. Carmen has proven herself to be a outstanding teacher and wonderful person.

When we started our lessons with Carmen, my daughter was 7 years old and I was in my 40s. And we take our lessons together. Carmen has done a excellent job of meeting the challenge of having both a child and adult student. She personalizes our lessons to our interests and goals while keeping in mind our individual strengths and skills.

Our lessons initially started with the drum set. My daughter now proudly calls herself a percussionist. Our lessons with Carmen now include snare solos, marimba, vibraphone, bells, tympani, clave, agogo bells, tambourin and ganza. (We plan to start Conga soon.) Styles we study with her include classical orchestral, rock, jazz, blues and samba.

Carmen creates but a core structure for continued skill advancement while integrating this to match our interest. For example right now, my daughter and I have been focusing more on Samba rhythms. Carmen integrated a system for our drum rudiments to be incorporated into a Samba beat to maximize our practice (and fun).

Carmen goes beyond the scheduled lesson time to help her student. Between lessons Carmen will produce record tracks of her playing various pieces for us to use as a guide during our practices. She will download music for us to enrich our understanding of a genre that we are studying. And she will email or text us between lessons to follow-up on our status if we had specific difficulties in our lesson.

I would highly recommend Carmen as a percussion teacher for a child, an adult or (as in our case) both. We definitely plan to continue our lessons with her.

Posted May 27, 2015
Eric C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Carmen has been working with our son, Ryan, for about two years now. I feel you would be hard-pressed to find a better instructor. Carmen has an exceptional ability to read your child and form a caring and personal relationship with them. Our son looks forward to each lesson, is a happy drum student, and it shows in his progress!

Posted May 27, 2015
Melissa M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son (8 years old) loves taking drum lessons from Carmen. She's been teaching him in group and private lessons since he was 5 years old. She gives him fun songs to learn and listens to him when he has special requests. She is very skilled, patient and fun and has kid-friendly ways of explaining difficult music theory and structure. He is always excited to go to his lesson (even when he hasn't practiced) because he knows Carmen will give him support and help him to develop better practice skills.

Posted May 27, 2015
Iris H.

My name is Iris and my son learns the drums with Carmen.
My son has been learning with Carmen for 7 years (since he was 6 years old) and he enjoys every moment with her. She is a gentle teacher and always has patience for young children.
She is very talented and her drumming skills are amazing. Also, she always listens to her students choice of music, because she knows every type. While teaching her students the song of their choice, she goes over every detail and part of the song, to ensure that they have had the best learning experience.
I can tell my son has learned a lot from Carmen, because when he tried out for his school band, he got in and they were very impressed with his drumming skills.
Carmen is the best music teacher, that I have seen teaching in a long time.

Iris Herschmann

Posted May 26, 2015
min H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Both my daughter and son love taking lessons from Carmen. Carmen’s fun class and love of drum drew out their interest in drum from the very beginning. Carmen is always prompt, and her lessons are organized and a lot of fun. She also provides clear practice instructions to students and parents. Outside of lesson time, Carmen found us a drum set and set it up for us. Because my son is young and small, she also found him chair and stands that could adjust low in height. We feel very lucky to have Carmen as our drum teacher.

Posted May 22, 2015
david H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My 8 year old son Jason was taught by Carman for about 2 years. My husband and I are very happy with the progress Jason has made. Carmen is a very dedicated teacher who not only knows her craft, but also knows how to motivate kids. Carmen spent her own time to help us find a very good used set of drums, and transported the entire set to our house and setup the drums. Carmen is a real caring person and we are truly blessed to have her as Jason’s teacher.

Posted May 22, 2015
Marta C.

Carmen has been my son's teacher for last three years. He started when he was eleven, and now he is going to join his high school symphonic band after successfully auditioning for it. Two things stand out in Carmen's approach to teaching: 1st is her constant readiness to find ways to make students excited about learning and willing to do the work, 2nd is staying positive and encouraging all the time.

Posted May 20, 2015
Mridu A.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

We are so lucky we found Carmen! My 8-year old son is left-handed and sometimes it is hard for him to grasp skills that are more natural for right handed people. We needed an empathic soul to teach him in a way that speaks to him. Carmen is doing an awesome job with him. He loves coming to class and practices regularly at home on his own! Carmen has been very attentive to his learning style and has, several times, changed her methods and tools to help my son learn better. She is also very patient and gentle with him. It's been more than a year since we started working with her and it has been great! Carmen has helped us in every way she can - she found us drums for our home, she tuned the snare drum, when my son expressed a strong interest in learning the conga, Carmen found him a conga and jumped into developing his interest further. She is a really good teacher! We recommend her whole-heartedly!

Posted May 20, 2015
Elham C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son has been taking lessons with Carmen for 5 years now. He started in second grade and through Carmen's excellent coaching, encouragement and inspiration, he has grown into a mature drummer. Carmen adjusts the lessons with a mix of rudiments and music that the student enjoys. Carmen is a talented musician in her own right and it is our honor to have such a distinguished individual to tutor our son.

Posted May 19, 2015

Photos & Videos

12 Photos & Videos


Drum Set and Percussion Teacher
Jun 2009 - Present

Community School of Music Mt View CA

Staff Faculty member for private and group percussion classes.

Private Instructor
Feb 1985 - Present

Cansino Productions

Private drum set and percussion lessons

Volunteer Drum Set Instructor
Jun 2003 - Dec 2004

Calvin Simmons Middle School

Group drum set lessons


Big Band
Sep 2000 - Dec 2002

Laney College

Rock/Jazz/Brazilian Studies
Jan 2001 - Aug 2002

Creative Percussion Institute

Advanced Drum Set Techniques
Aug 2001 - Jun 2002

Vince Lateano

Afro Cuban Performance
Jan 1993 - Jan 1995

Merrit College

Jazz Drum Set Techniques
Mar 1993 - Jul 1994

Alan Hall

Afro Cuban Percussion
Sep 1984 - Dec 1986

Louis Romero

Classical Percussion Performance Major
Jan 1976 - May 1980

San Jose State University


Elaine Colbert Achievement Award
Jun 1976

Mt. Shasta Sorority Club

Academic Achievement Award
Jun 1976

Bank of America


Percussive Arts Society, The
May 2015
We offer students and professionals opportunities to grow artistically and professionally. Students can learn have a music industry experience through the PAS Internship program or apply to receive a PAS scholarship or grant. Professionals can create new percussion programs or gain recognition through PAS grants and contests. Many individuals have significantly impacted the world of percussion through the Percussive Arts Society and they are recognized in our Hall of Fame and Awards pages.

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