John Synhavsky

John S.

5 Reviews
Saint Paul, MN

About John S.

Background check: Last verified 10/28/2014
John passed a background check on 10/28/2014 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
For more information, please click here.

John teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: April 2008
Last sign in: Within a month
Average response time: Less than 1 hour


I have spent over 10 years gigging, recording, and teaching drums in the Twin Cities. I am a full-time musician, splitting time between original indie-pop band, Step Rockets, and Minneapolis-based cover band, Soul Tree. I teach from my music studio in St. Paul as well as traveling to students' homes.

I started drumming at the age of 10, honing my chops under the tutelage of drummer/vibraphonist Steve Roehm, member of the acclaimed Twin Cities jazz trio, The New Standards. I continued my musical education at St. Olaf College, where I played drums in the college's nationally accredited Jazz One ensemble while studying percussion with highly regarded Twin Cities musicians Phil Hey and Dave Hagedorn. Since graduating, I've found a niche in the world of teaching. I spent three years teaching students in St. Paul Public Schools while developing a strong base of private drum students in and around the Twin Cities. I have a thorough understanding of drumming technique coupled with an in-depth knowledge of different styles and genres, which I've accumulated through playing with a vast variety of bands and ensembles.

I love sharing my passion for drums with people of all ages and musical backgrounds. I provide a fun and stimulating learning environment in which students can foster their drum skills and grow their love of music.

*** Lesson Details ***
John provides a laid back atmosphere, ensuring that lessons are equal parts fun and education. Based on his teaching experience with a wide range of ages and experience levels, John tailors his curriculum according to his students' input and the exercises that are most effective. John can teach any number of drum set skills, from basic mechanics and music reading to advanced technique and improvisation.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Sound-Proof Studio w/ Full Drum Kit

*** Travel Equipment ***
Given the short duration of each drum lesson, I expect the student to provide all of the drums, cymbals, and hardware for which he/she desires to learn the instrument.

*** Specialties ***
Genres: Funk, Rock, Jazz, Latin (Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Latin-Jazz), Pop, Country, Hip-Hop; Sight-Reading; Rudiments; Improvisation; Technique

Photos and Videos

Latest music video from Step Rockets, featuring myself on the drums.


Musician Jan 2006 - Present
Drum Instructor & Performing Artist


B.A. - Psychology Sep 2006 - May 2010
St. Olaf College

Languages Spoken

English Fluent / Native Proficiency


B.A. Psychology May 2010
St. Olaf College

Write a Review

5 Reviews on John S.

Natalie W. Oct 28, 2014
Drum · In studio
John is a very talented musician with thorough knowledge of the drums! He makes lessons productive and light-hearted. I have taken lessons from him for two years and I am excited to continue building my skills alongside such a wonderful teacher!
Mary M. Aug 6, 2014
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
I worked with John for around 9 months so far, starting as a complete beginner. He has moved me through multiple genres of music and despite my limited schedule has me progressing much further along in lessons then I ever thought possible! He is great to work with, very accommodating to the students interest and very professional! He has helped me with technique and music theory as well, which has been really helpful. I would recommend him to anyone, young or old, interested in learning the drums!
LisaS7 Apr 29, 2012
Great teacher

John is patient, on time and very thourough! He has great knowledge and is very personable. Gets along great with me and my son.
GloriaB Apr 12, 2011
Great Instructor

John quickly figured out my learning. style. I have learned a lot in a very short period of time. John knows all the genres and he knows how to teach. He has a great personality and would be a great teacher for all ages and abilities.
BillS1 Nov 22, 2010
What a great instructor!

I would recommend John to anyone for drum instruction. He quickly figured out my playing style, gave me excercises for improvement and had me 'thinking' instead of just hitting the drums. On top of that add a great personality and fun lessons. Thanks, John!