John Synhavsky

John S.

Minneapolis, MN
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Ableton Basics - Recording/Editing MIDI & Audio tracks, Quick key shortcuts, Understanding session & arrangement layouts

Sound Design - Using ableton VSTs to synthesize your own sounds from scratch, Creating realistic beats from scratch

Make your own song from scratch!
See all subjects

John teaches



John passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
John delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:
April 2008

Hi, I'm John! I'm a full-time musician, currently splitting my time between teaching drums and touring with indie rock band Step Rockets. I've been fortunate enough to spend the past 12 years teaching, recording, and performing across North America.

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 jazz veterans Phil Hey and Dave Hagedorn. I then spent three years teaching students in St. Paul Public Schools while developing a strong base of private drum students in the Twin Cities.

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. 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 wide variety of bands and ensembles.

*** Lesson Details ***
I provide a laid back atmosphere, ensuring that lessons are equal parts fun and education. I tailor my curriculum based on my students' skill level and interests. I can teach any number of drum set skills, from technique and music reading to advanced coordination and improvisation.

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

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

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Jan 2006 - Present
Drum Instructor & Performing Artist


Music Studies Professional Certificate
Sep 2017 - Apr 2018
Berklee School of Music
B.A. - Psychology
Sep 2006 - May 2010
St. Olaf College


Fluent / Native Proficiency


B.A. Psychology
May 2010
St. Olaf College

Photos & Videos

Photo by John S.

"Kisser" by Step Rockets
Opening up for Bon Jovi

Photo by John S.

Photo by John S.

"West Coast" by Step Rockets

15 Reviews

Write a Review
Maddy Apr 25, 2019
Percussion · In home

John is THE BEST. He is as knowledgeable as they come, inspires my daughter to become her best self, is communicative and flexible. Honestly, I am scared he will become too popular — he's OURS! <3

Maddy Aug 7, 2018
Percussion · In home

John is our perfect instructor: approachable, positive, encouraging, upbeat, makes my shy child comfortable and motivated. We love him!

Santiago Jul 24, 2018
Drum · In home

John has been awesome. My 8 year old son is very excited with his drum classes. John sets a very inviting tone and great environment to learn. Would highly recommend.

Maddy Jul 10, 2018
Percussion · In home

John is a perfect instructor for my daughter, who is shy & responds to positive yet structured instruction. She is already practicing for next week :)

Addison Y. Sep 7, 2017
Drum · In studio

Addison enjoy his drum lesson with John. I think he's a very good teacher and great working with kids

Sidney T. Apr 2, 2017
Drum · In home


Dylan Mar 11, 2017
Drum · In home

My son only recently started his lessons with John but he likes his laid back but focused teaching approach. I feel very encouraged that John has a positive attitude, and is punctual.

Lisa T. May 27, 2015
Drum · In studio

John quickly won over my son with his great personality and fun teaching style. I am impressed by how quickly Blake has improved in such a short amount of time. It's fun to see how much he looks forward to his weekly lessons. Thanks John!

Joseph W. May 25, 2015
Drum · In studio

John has helped me take my drumming to the next level. When I started lessons I was fairly new to the drum set and did not know how to read music. Over the past two years he has completely transformed me from a beginner to a gigging musician. John is patient, laid back and very knowledgeable and I would highly recommend him to drummers of all skill levels.

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Ann W. May 23, 2015
Drum · In studio

I played drums in a school band and haven't played in a few years. I approached John about getting back into the art even though I was a little rusty. Previously I have taken lessons with people who were skilled gigging drummers but not the best educators. John is a great combination of professional musician and a skilled educator, as shown through his patience and ability to explain techniques and skills. I highly recommend John as a teacher for any level, because he has been so wonderful in getting me back on my musical feet!

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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

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!

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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!

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