Unfortunately, playing by ear is really hard for a lot of classical musicians. It’s something that they don’t typically learn. They can get by without it. If they do practice ear training, they try to improve their ear by repeating interval drills over and over again. Is it possible to get a good ear this way? Well, yes. Very few people actually see this type of ear training through to a point that they can play music competently by ear though.
If you want to have an amazing ear, why not follow the lead of people that have amazing ears. Most people with great ears didn’t learn by drilling intervals all day. They learned by doing. They practiced playing by ear or transcribing music.
If you’re a classical musician, music is written out for you. The main way that you learn music is by reading. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you don’t spend some time to get a good ear for music, you’re missing out on a skill that will not only make you a better musician, but that will help you enjoy music to a degree you couldn’t before.
Perfect pitch, also called absolute pitch, is the ability to identify or sing a note without any reference. That’s the definition, but there is a lot more to it than that. Perfect pitch is often misunderstood. There’s a common misconception in the musical community that perfect pitch is not only unimportant, but actually bad to have. In order to understand exactly what it is, and if there is even a need for it, we need to have a very clear understanding about what it actually is, and what it is not.