Auditory and Kinaesthetic musicians always find the traditional way of learning music challenging. They are late bloomers where reading notations is concerned.
Before we proceed further, please note that we NEVER advocate the doing away with the ability to read musical notes.
However, we do understand there are different types of people and a large majority of people are Auditory and Kinaesthetic when it comes to music. Playing music by reading notes requires one to be Visual. And a large majority of people are uncomfortable when it comes to using Visual means to play music. In the first place, music is an Auditory and Kinaesthetic art!
If one considers this matter carefully, one will come to an understanding that musical notations serve little in the artistic development of music except for the encoding of good musical ideas for posterity. In the absence of electricity, the pen serves as the best tool for recording great works done. Today, because of the availability of electricity and the invention of the phonograph (thanks to Thomas Edison), the best medium to transfer musical ideas to posterity is actually the Cassette Tape, CD or MP3 player! Think about this point carefully with no bias and you will understand where we are coming from! No offence meant, but a person who can only play strictly according to musical notation is nothing more than a “glorified media player”.
In recapitulation, for a complete education, the Play By Ear™ Method DOES NOT do away with musical notes and important rudiments. Basically, you learn to use your feelings and hearing more than you use musical notation. You use these rudiments only in cases where your ears fail you or when you desire to understand more through written means. It is also a means to transfer your idea across if you have created a song or a musical arrangement. Its main intention is to make you a total musician through EASIER means.