When I first started playing, I was in my senior year of high school, playing with a very mediocre school orchestra. The teacher offered absolutely no help in learning the violin, and my classmates were barely able to offer the basics. I managed to teach myself, and by the end of the year, ended up being the best in the class. Still however, I wasn’t great. When I got to college, I had a fairly large ego, and was in for a major culture shock when I saw the level of students in my college orchestra. Luckily my school had a class for string instruments, and with my fairly decent level, I was able to have one on one lessons with the teacher. Its been 3 years since I’ve started playing, and I’ve climbed up to the second chair of the 1st violin section of our school’s orchestra. My advice to you, find a good teacher who you can get along with. I can write out all my struggles and accomplishments, but it all comes down to the fact that I was able to study with a teacher for 45 minutes each week. It helps greatly. Good Luck!