In the last few days I had my first encounter with an E major piece, supposed to be at the same level of other pieces I am learning. But I am struggling more than I thought, because of the 4 # I always forget or struggle to reach. So today I saw that file where many pieces are ranked in Grade order, and the level is in fact the same: grade 4.
How possible? Isn't supposed to be more difficult than a C major piece of the same level, simply due to the different key?
E major isn't hard. C major is hard.
With E major, you get texture. Those black keys are little mountains on the keyboard. You're looking at the score and moving your fingers and your fingers can soar into the huge spaces between the black keys and hit that C# or that F#! And you have your thumb, which is short, and likes to hit white keys, and your fingers, which are long and naturally hover over the black keys when your thumb is on the white keys, and you don't have to do any weird hand twisting.
C major. You move your hand forward to get your thumb up there and your long fingers are cramped. You're paying attention to the score and need to move your pinky up to hit a high note. Was it a G? or an F? They feel the same before you hit them! Or... you split a note and your pretty melody line goes splat. C major is a textural desert--a smooth surface that doesn't conform to your hand, that requires accurate placement (as does all piano), with a terrain that requires you to rely solely on completely accurate ESP to hit the note.
Those four sharps do take some adjusting to. It won't necessarily be fast (but some scale practice would make it faster--I with I'd realized that when I started), but you sort of end up loving the black keys and not being such a fan of the white keys as you continue with piano.