controlled motor motion

I have no experience at all with adruinos or computer languages but I'm learning this summer. I'm doing a project where we are construction a replica of a lung where that will mimic a human lung for my .. we are using a cylinder and a plunger system to simulate the breathing pattern we will use a stepper motor to drive the plunger up and down providing the air volume flow

I need to program and adruino that will controll the motion of the motor. ultimately we want to program it so it can mimic different breathing patterns and not just a sinusoidal wave maybe prerecorded patterns so the user can choose between different settings. additionally we would like to have a wave frequency display but its not necesary. I just need a few tips where to start or what languages to learn.

Buy an arduino and start on the tutorials on this site.