StringsART: Connecting teachers, students, researchers and performers


StringsART is a database designed to enhance the integration of research, teaching, and performance in string instruments. To achieve this, StringsART consolidates journal articles, books, and other resources from diverse teaching and performance traditions and various areas of scientific research. These materials are carefully curated by internationally recognized experts, chosen for their practical, artistic, and scientific significance. The database aims to juxtapose information derived from string teaching and performance traditions with insights from various scientific research fields, fostering a broader exchange between these knowledge domains. StringsART was developed by the Research and Development Division of the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in collaboration with CodeLounge, the research and software development center of the Università della Svizzera italiana.

Its structure is conceived as an innovative tool for teachers, performers, researchers, students, and, more generally, string enthusiasts.

The database:

  • creates a platform for discourse among researchers, musicians, and teachers;
  • strengthens the international network of active and interested individuals and institutions in the fields of research, teaching, and performance of string instruments;
  • points out relevant interdisciplinary fields applicable in string teaching and playing;
  • supports students at universities and conservatoires as an e-learning tool (research support for projects/semesters/bachelor’s/master’s theses, etc.);
  • launches stimulating impulses, inviting students and professionals to put into practice and further develop the evidence-based approaches and research found in the database.

StringsART benefits from the contributions of some of the world’s most renowned performers, teachers, and researchers and is endorsed and promoted by ESTA – Italy, the Italian section of the European String Teachers Association.

The presentation of StringsART during the 52nd ESTA conference is a unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of the database and provide input into its development through discussion and exchange.

This recording is only for reference and consultation by the participants of the ESTA Porto 2024 Conference. All contents are protected by copyright and its violation is a crime. Illegal downloading and sharing of content or part of it is strictly prohibited

About the speakers

Andreas Cincera, Double bass

His work as a teacher and researcher is guided by his interests in music didactics and pedagogy, music education, communication science, and the field of systematic musicology. His main areas of focus include the development of musical competences and communication in teaching, as well as in various professions in the healthcare sector. With many years of experience in teaching students of all ages, from four-year-olds to seniors, Andreas Cincera has expanded his professional profile with studies and a degree in counseling and supervision.

In addition to his collaboration on the StringsART database, he teaches double bass and didactics in Lugano and Zurich, and he lectures on topics related to music pedagogy. At the University of Applied Sciences Bern, he is currently responsible for further education courses in music pedagogy and a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in communication and supervision. In this context, he is also involved in research on communication in the healthcare setting. Furthermore, he teaches didactics for higher education in Bern and Lucerne.

As a musician, Andreas Cincera has played in orchestras such as the Tonhalle, the Zurich Opera Orchestra, and the Collegium Novum Zurich, as well as performing as a soloist and chamber musician. His passion for theatre productions, improvisation, and experimental folk music has led him to participate in festivals both at home and abroad. He is the dedicatee of the concerto for double bass and orchestra, “Tcha-Ti-Man-Wi” by Klaus Cornell. In addition to the modern double bass, Andreas Cincera also plays the violon in baroque and classical scordaturas.


Cristinna Bellu, Cello

Cristina Bellu is a cellist, cello teacher, and researcher. Since the age of 16, she has performed in chamber music ensembles, orchestras, and as a soloist. Composers such as Lawrence, Morehead, and Mertens have created works for her. Cristina holds the position of cello professor at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Départemental in Mulhouse (France) and also teaches at the école Atempy, focusing on instructing autistic individuals. Additionally, she serves as a professor of violoncello didactics at the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana and the Haute Ecole de Musique Vaud-Valais-Fribourg (HEMU).

Her research projects concentrate on music didactics and encompass topics ranging from exploring the connection between the neuromotor profile of young children and their initial instrumental approach to studying one-to-one lessons at retirement age. Additionally, she delves into teaching and learning rhythm in the elementary school context. Cristina recently completed her PhD in Education at the University of Geneva, with her doctoral studies focusing on teaching musical interpretation during the first year of cello lessons in children. She is also responsible for the research group Interdisciplinarité et Décloisonnement de l’Enseignement Musical (IDEM) at the HEMU.

Hubert Eiholzer, Piano

Hubert Eiholzer is the Vice Director and Head of Research in the University division of the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana (CSI). His academic and musical interests have converged in his decades-long endeavor to build and strengthen application-oriented research within Swiss and European music higher education institutions. Hubert joined CSI in 2000 to support its transformation from a regional conservatory to a university school. He played a key role in founding a research department and developing learning outcomes and competence profiles for the new BA and MA degrees, among other significant contributions.

The research department has focused on multidisciplinary collaboration to study central issues in music practice and its impact on society. This includes exploring topics such as music and wellbeing (e.g., community music), music performance assessment, developing structures to facilitate research training (e.g., MA in Artistic Research), and the transfer of knowledge.
As a member of various working groups of the Association Européenne des Conservatoires (AEC), Hubert played a crucial role in developing the AEC Learning Outcomes for Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral programs. Elected to the AEC Board in 2006, he served as AEC Vice-President from 2011 to 2014. From 2007 to 2010, Hubert served as a research consultant at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent (BE). From 2016 to 2019, he chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Dimitri Academy of Physical Theatre. Hubert was the Head of the multidisciplinary research platform for Artistic Research at the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) from 2009 to 2019. In 2017, he was appointed Expert Advisor for Music in secondary schools for the Department of Education of the Canton of Ticino. In 2020, Hubert was named an Honorary Member of the Royal College of Music, London.

Hubert holds a Licence ès Lettres in Philosophy from the University of Fribourg and a DPhil in Philosophy from Oxford University. He also holds a Diplôme d’Enseignement de Piano from the Conservatory of Fribourg.

Anna Modesti, Violin and Viola

Anna Modesti integrates her musical training with expertise in music didactics research and neuroscience and music. Since 1989, she has been instructing violin and music ensemble at the Music School of the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. Since 1994, Anna has been responsible for teacher training at the professional section (university school) of the same conservatory. In 1994, she founded a project for the development of string instrument classes, involving over two hundred young instrumentalists. This initiative has led to the establishment of four orchestras at different levels. In 2012, the top level of this project received full marks and honors in the “Summa cum laude” competition in Vienna. Many of her students, chamber groups, and orchestras have excelled in various national and international competitions. As a teacher trainer, she regularly collaborates with institutions in Italy and Switzerland.

Since 2005, she has been actively involved in research in the field of violin didactics, with a particular focus on the development of self-regulation processes and the neurophysiological aspects underlying musical reception and production. This collaboration has been with the “Research and Development” Department of the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. From 2003 to 2005, she served as a member of the executive committee of the Italian section of the association ESTA (European String Teachers Association), a position she resumed in 2021. Between 2011 and 2016, she was a member of the “Editorial Commission” of SIEM (Italian Society of Music Education). From 2017 to 2020, she served on the Scientific Commission of the Music School of Fiesole. As of 2021, she is a member of the executive committee of the Italian section of the association ESTA.