My fiddle student has just hit that first plateau. She's in that place where you know more or less where to put your fingers, you can draw the bow across the strings and have it sound more or less alright, and you have a few songs in your head -- but things are still in that "mechanical" state where you feel more as if you're operating a machine than as if you're singing through the instrument. And really, there's no cure for that but time and experience.
Eventually your fingers just find the right place on the strings, your bow pressure is just right - somehow you know just what sound will come out even before the bow hits the strings. But getting there requires the patience to do it again, and again, and again until it's second nature.
It can be a dull, repetitive process - it's work. And as frustrating as that experience is as an adult accustomed to the process, it can be agonizingly dull as a teen. The new and shiny has worn off, and what's left is the long slow slog of repetition until the next breakthrough.
I try to liven things up best I can - tossing in a new ornament or snatch of popular melody here and there for spice, but sometimes there's only so much the teacher can do.
Just like the rest of life, you need love for what you're doing to carry you through the dry patches. Well.. I've got a week to figure out what inspiration might make her last month of lessons more fun. In the meantime...time for a walk.