3rd Graders Learn the TR-808

Grade 3 and a Drum Machine from Selwyn House School on Vimeo.

This is how it all begins with a little honest playtime. One of these kids will go home and dream of drum patterns. They will hear 808s on records and know where the sounds came from. They will realize how special that machine they played with was. One may become the next Hawtin. I started young obsessing over a TRS-80 Color Computer. When I hit my teenage years, fell in love and heard Depeche Mode it was all over. I knew my calling.

“During computer class some of the grade 3s decided to teach themselves how to program a 30-year-old Roland TR-808 drum machine.” – Selwyn House School

photo credit: fr4dd

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to: thehorrorist.com

3 thoughts on “3rd Graders Learn the TR-808”

  1. ha! I’m a music teacher and this was fun to watch. It’s interesting to see how captivated they are with the buttons and functions. I’ve been doing a similar thing in my music class, and recently got a microKorg for my students to play around with. I will be bringing in electronic drum pads for them pretty soon. They also enjoy the mix of tech with traditional percussion like congas and djembe…tech will not, and should not ever totally replace the desire to hit something…and I prefer them to hit the drums rather than each other!

    i’ve found that teaching music keeps me grounded because it allows me to explore how we think things through. I help them and I also learn from them. Sometimes, as adults we can lose curiosity, or become so concrete in our thought process and methods that it constricts our creative process. When I work with younger people it reminds me that as a musician there’s a part of us that must remain childlike.

  2. Spent more than enough $ on an 808 retro fitted with midi about a year or so ago to be triggered by Logic/Ableton etc. Took time recently to RTFM and actually use the onboard sequencer.
    Brings things to another level – you simply can’t be it. My d16 emulation frankly remains unused.

    I should move it in front of the Vermona to be honest..


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