I started playing around that age as well. I never did group lessons, but I did do private. What my teacher suggested when I first started playing was to pretened that there is an orange in each palm of your hand. That was to keep the fingers in the proper position while playing. At first I didn't know what she meant, then she got two small bean bags and taped them to my palms as I was playing. It really helped me a lot with getting my fingers used to the proper position for playing. That was almost 16 years ago, and the technique she used greatly helped me.