Recently I have been asked the same question several times. “Do others of your students have this same problem?” “Is my child learning at a normal speed?” This is fascinating! These are students of all ages, so this seems that we don’t grow out of this concern as we grow older.
Many times I have taught students who struggle in their first year of lessons, but who flourish later on. I have been running a string program at an elementary school for the past three years. It is great to see that some of the kids who were having difficulty in the first year are now some of the stronger students. It is great to see their confidence growing as time has gone on.
I try in my lessons to encourage students to improve without worrying about where they are compared to others. In the end it does not matter whether or not other students have the same problems. What matters is where you have are having difficulty and how we can fix it! You need to keep improving and moving forward.
I am not immune to this issue myself and am always comparing myself to other violinists, fiddlers and professional musicians. At times I feel like my career is moving very slowly compared to some other people. In the end, I always find that it is best for me to travel at my own speed. When I think of all that I have accomplished, my career is moving along quite well.
My hope for all us (me included) is that we can concentrate on ourselves, and continue learning and improving.