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Nearly three years ago, I had taken lessons for perhaps half a year or so until I stopped because I didn't feel like my teacher was effective and I wasn't particularly fond with his teaching style. Additionally, I had decided to place much of my efforts elsewhere primarily in my academics but now that summer has come around, I've decided that I would like to go back to playing the piano.

I'd first like to give an explanation of my skill level. I've never been involved with the ABRSM but if I had to grade myself, I'd certainly be at level 1 or perhaps a low 2. However, I am familiar with musical notation, reading sheet music, and figuring out where the notes are.

The primary limiting factor to further progress is the lack of hand independence even at slow speed. I feel that this problem is the first thing I need to address to have any hope to play any more advanced pieces.

I have a few other problems such as working with the metronome at any tempo other than slow but I should be able to fix that with sufficient practice at slow then increasingly fast tempos.

So considering me to be slightly ahead of the total beginner and without recommending me to take lessons, how should I approach relearning the piano on my own? What "easy" classical pieces can I start with?

My goal by the end of summer is hand independence so I would like an approach that focuses on this. Learning a nice piece of two and having the ability to play it through at the proper tempo is a plus.

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To my mind scales and arpeggios are something you should consider. There's a lot written about them in various answers on this site, but from your angle, they will help to create independence between the fingers of each hand, and each hand itself. As the fingering for each scale is different, (when looking at each hand), as you play, although the notes will be the same, but an octave apart, you will get used to the independence. Play as many as you can, try not to use the thumb on black keys unless it's impossible otherwise; working out your own fingering is quite fun. Changing of thumbs will occur at different times, too. I'm not recommending particular tunes, as that is out of the remit for this site.

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Go to a music store and ask for the method books section. Grab a little stack of volume 1 books from different series. Take them over to the electric piano demo area and try out some of their tunes.

I am very partial to anything by Faber and Faber.

And I absolutely LOVE Waxman's Exertudes. You'll probably have to order this. But these etudes give you chops, very step by step, and they're really fun to play. Not formulaic at all.

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To help with your hand independence, try a few of A Dozen A Day's books and Czerny (sheet music available on IMSLP). For diving in music and not just "exercises", Faber and Faber are always solid.

I would highly suggest a few lessons with an experienced instructor, though, who can work with you to identify books and pieces that you could learn either with them or on their own time, based on your skill level. I feel hesitant just telling you random things over the internet because skill levels vary widely in the "beginner" band, much more so than in intermediate or advanced.

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