Project Lovelace is a school-based programme for students aged twelve to eighteen years interested in learning about making music by using technology. The programme is designed to encourage equal and equitable participation by male and female students through instruction in technology-enhanced music performance, improvisation, composition, analysis and notation. Project Lovelace is named in honour of the contributions of the female mathematician Ada Augusta, Countess of Lovelace, who in 1842 predicted that computers could be used for musical composition (Roads 1996).
The goals of Project Lovelace are to develop collaborative-based methods for gender-balanced school music technology programmes, amass a gender-balanced repertoire suitable for school music technology programmes, nurture creativity and analytical skills in music technology, and conduct a longitudinal study that documents the changing attitudes and perceived competencies of participating students and teachers.
The motivation to initiate Project Lovelace was the timely convergence of two vexing issues perennially facing music technology programmes in higher education, specifically at the University of Michigan: the proportionally small number of female applicants to university music technology programmes and the need to continually upgrade or replace laboratory equipment. Why not allocate second-generation university laboratory equipment to the schools with the intent of building school-based music technology curricula that lead to a gender-balanced university applicant pool?