Close-up of tre young girls in front of computer screens programming music.
Sadhvika, Rutvika and Jovita, participants at Creative Coding, coding their own music pieces.
Photo: Natalija Sako

Empowering young girls through music and code


The project Creative Coding wants to show young girls that technology can be fun. Over a period of 10 weeks, the girls have been coding their own music pieces, which they will perform at Lindholmen Visual Arena on June 2.

It's five o'clock on a sunny Thursday afternoon. Most offices at Lindholmspiren are winding down for the day, but on the third floor of Chalmers' Kuggen building, there is full activity.

"The audience will be fewer than 5 million, but definitely more than 5 people," says teacher and doctoral student Kelsey Cotton to six girls discussing how many people they can expect at their concert. The girls, approximately 10 to 12 years old, have been practicing coding music throughout the spring and are now ready to perform.

"It's really fun. I love music, and it's great to do it together with someone my age," says 10-year-old Rutvika, pointing to her friend Jovita.

"Yeah, it's creative, and the music we've created is so beautiful," says Jovita.

Aim to introduce technology to girls

The girls are part of the Creative Coding project, an initiative by Jasmina Maric, lecturer at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The aim is to introduce technology to young girls by letting them experiment with music and coding. Participants have been welcome to join regardless of their previous knowledge, but they have all been challenged and learned new things.

"I like coding because it's like solving a puzzle. It requires a lot of patience," says 12-year-old Sadhvika, who has coded before, and her friend Shiriya agrees:

"It's like Lego. If it's too unstable, it falls down. But when you find the right brick to make it stay up, that satisfaction is amazing."

Providing new role models

The teachers at the workshop are Kelsey Cotton and Georgios Diapoulis, both doctoral students at the division of Interaction Design and Software Engineering.

“We want the girls to have fun and experiment, but the project is also about empowering them and giving them role models. Hopefully its shows them that this could be a possible path in the future”, says Kelsey Cotton. And 10-year-old Rutvika already knows that she will continue coding.

“It’s not just a hobby for me it feels so much more fun!”, says Rutvika.


Read more about Creative Coding