Hi Kathyk! Have you ever thought through why you feel it’s easier to play with someone else also playing?
It’s fun to have someone reinforcing what you’re doing. It gives you confidence to have a playing buddy. If you miss a note, the piece keeps going. All you need to do it jump back in. Plus the social aspect adds an element of fun. With all these positives, it is a good thing to seek out opportunities to play with others.
On the other hand, it’s also important to be able to hold your own, so to speak. So practicing on your violin all by yourself is important, because it prepares you to play well in groups. When someone else is playing, we can hide a little, be led a little, not think as much. When you’re playing alone, you have to deal with problem areas that make you stumble or play the wrong notes, or that you don’t know how to figure out.
Playing and practicing alone makes you a better player, because it allows you to see only you, hear only you, stop when you need to and fix what needs fixing.
Someone posted a video the other day asking for feedback. I listened to it and thoroughly enjoyed it then listened to another video of the same piece played by a different violinist and saw improvements that I never would have seen otherwise. The first performance seemed perfect until hearing it done better. Playing with others gives me models to show ways to improve as does listening to others.