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Hear and Play Songs by Ear...
The "Hear and Play" web site specializes in teaching people how to play the piano by ear. On their web site, you'll notice one particular article that discusses the differences between musicians who play piano from sheet music and others who play by ear. Specifically, the article highlights the advantages of playing by ear.
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Here are three of the many examples cited in the article...

Advantages to Playing Piano by Ear
1) "You can instantly recognize chords that are played in songs even without being at a piano." How does this help you? Because you are able to learn songs faster and easier because you understand exactly why certain chords are played at certain points in songs.

2) "You're not required to memorize chord progressions (pattern of chords played one after the other) because once you learn to play piano by ear, you'll automatically be inclined to know what chord to play next." In other words, you'll just know in your gut what comes next. How does this help you? It allows you to improvise and add your own "flavor" to the song. This is especially advantageous when playing in a church as you can never predict how long a song will be sung or what key the singer might resolve to. In a band, this might be helpful if the leader simply instructs everyone to surprisingly repeat a part of the song or change the key in which the song is currently being played in.

3) "Playing piano by ear allows you to use the same methods to play virtually any song you want (most songs, anyway; a composition by Mozart will likely take more practice than other songs)." How does this help you? It saves you the money and time of having to go out and buy the sheet music to a song, since you'll already know how to play using your ability to recognize melodies, chords, and progressions. However, buying the sheet music isn't a bad idea if you want to learn specific parts to songs that have high levels of complexity."

I could really go on about this article, but why don't you read the article in its entirety yourself? If you're serious about taking your piano playing to the next level, you might want to consider taking Hear and Play up on their 300-pg course, "The Secrets to Playing Piano by Ear").

All the best,

Delany Smith,
The Free Sheet Music Guide.

P.S. - There's also a little section in the article that talks about major and minor scales, chords, and progressions. Check out that section too.