John Synhavsky
Minneapolis, MN
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John Synhavsky

John S.

Minneapolis, MN
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
- 10 Years Teaching Experience
- Professional Musician
- Flexible teaching style (written notation, ear training, play-a-long songs)
- Patient & fun learning environment

About John S.

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/ 2 Full Drum Kits and Speakers

*** Specialties ***
Sight-Reading; Rudiments; Improvisation; Technique; 4-limb coordination; Genres: Funk, Hip-Hop, Rock, Jazz, Latin (Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Latin-Jazz), Pop, Country, etc.


Write a Review
17 Reviews
Chris T.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Excellent instructor! Positive, patient and great mix of focus on fundamentals vs. fun and challenging exercises to keep me engaged.

Posted Jan 6, 2020
Jason G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

The first week is awesome. I had taken a class at a college for a quarter. I did very well and learned a lot. With that, John knew right where to start with me. Looking forward to getting the best sound I can. Thanks, John.

Posted Aug 19, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's 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

Posted Apr 25, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

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

Posted Aug 7, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's 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.

Posted Jul 24, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's 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 :)

Posted Jul 10, 2018
Addison Y.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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

Posted Sep 7, 2017
Sidney T.
Profile-location-home Student's Home


Posted Apr 2, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's 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.

Posted Mar 11, 2017
Lisa T.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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!

Posted May 27, 2015
Joseph W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted May 25, 2015
Ann W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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!

Posted May 23, 2015
Natalie W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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!

Posted Oct 28, 2014
Mary M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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!

Posted Aug 6, 2014

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.

Posted Apr 29, 2012

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.

Posted Apr 12, 2011

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!

Posted Nov 22, 2010

Photos & Videos

6 Photos & Videos


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

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