As you search for the best key for a melody, the ability to play by ear becomes essential.
It is also becomes an extremely valuable skill when you accompany singers or make music with others.
But there is a deeper reason for being able to play by ear as well as “by-eye”.
To be creative, we must engage our intuition.
You will find that certain ideas come to you when playing by ear that just wouldn’t occur to you when playing from a score and vice versa.
To develop our artistry, we need both pathways into our intuition.
So sometimes we may start with a score, and other times we may use the score only to check whether we have been accurate when playing by ear.