The string quartet as a metaphor for teamwork

Quartetto Echos at the Middle School “Bettinzoli” in Brescia

Quatuor Agate at the 
Lycée Franco-Qatarien Voltaire
in Doha, Qatar

Quartetto Echos at the Comprehensive Institute of Castel Goffredo (MN)

The string quartet is not only a music ensemble, but also a working group to take some inspiration from. For this reason, Fourfun proposes the string quartet as an ideal metaphor for teamwork.

Fourfun is a musical path, based on a direct dialogue between musicians and school students, without the barriers that often arise in a concert hall. This allows young participants to get involved and work in a team as in a string quartet. A Fourfun session includes narrations about the history and peculiarities of the string quartet, music performances, team games and thematic workshops.

Music becomes a means, not an end, through which spreading the culture of dialogue as noble principle at the basis of society

Every session focuses on the value of collaboration and teamwork, but specific contents are tailored on each class’ needs and characteristics. Four different paths are proposed:

  1. The 5 “noble principles” of the string quartet: complete session on teamwork
  2. In-depth exploration of one or two noble principles of your choice
  3. The repertoire: a journey through the history of string quartet
  4. FOUREUROPE: the quartet as a metaphor of democracy 

An important feature of Fourfun is the physical proximity of the students who are seated around the ensemble and thus are able to grasp the dynamics that give life to music: movements, breaths and looks of the musicians.


“It’s nice to see the instruments being played. It makes you feel like learning to play, in fact I’m thinking about which instrument to choose”
– student at Scuola secondaria di primo grado “Virgilio”, Castel Goffredo (MN)

“I liked most of all Mozart as he made me think about how music has changed over time up to rap music that we listen to today”
– student at Scuola secondaria di primo grado “Virgilio”, Castel Goffredo (MN)


“The hope of all of us is to be able to repeat the experience in the future because it has high educational value”
– Prof. Chiarella (ICS Fabrizio De André, Peschiera Borromeo, MI)

“For all the students it was a wonderful experience and – I would add – also for my fellow teachers, who were impressed by the fantastic young instrumentalists and the listening and observation skills of our students”
– Prof.ssa Faroni (Scuola Media Bettinzoli, Brescia)


The string quartet is the main ensemble of chamber music and, above all, it is an incredible human experiment: it is a dialogue between four heads, four voices and four hearts, so each artistic choice is the result of a long, and often complicated, mediation. This dynamic is clearly visible if you observe closely a quartet playing.

The quartet is a privileged place of profound experience where one can be at times unique and multiple, where fusion and personalization are sought. A place of exchange with infinite possibilities that continuously stimulates the group to raise the level.

Within the quartet it is necessary to develop a culture of conversation that enhances both expression and listening. The musicians of a string quartet rehearse together for 70-80% of their time without a conductor. The rules that guide them are collaboration, respect for the ideas of the others, responsibility and trust. They interpret four different parts that, through dialogue and continuous common reflections, are integrated into a single sixteen-stringed instrument, without the need of a director external to the group, as it happens instead in an orchestra.

Would you like to organize a conversation-concert, or donate this experience to a school or community? Do you have questions or curiosities about the project?