been struggling for years with playing simple melody lines. can sing the song on pitch. can play a note and match it with voice. but struggle to sing a note and find it on my instrument. which is piano by the way.suffered years of frustration with this problem. despite having a full understanding of note reading and theory.killing my ability to play by ear.i actually have to sing the note and sometimes run up and down the scale chromatically till i find the note. got to be a better way than this.if i can sing it why can't i play it?
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ear training, plain and simple.  start with intervals.  go sit down at the piano and either sing an interval.  the first two notes of, say the star spangled banner (minor 3rd).  then work them out on the piano.

then do it again, try to find tunes that go through all the intervals. take the first two notes of the days of wine and roses, a c to an a.  that's a major 6th.

so now sing another major 6th in a different key and then try to play it.

i mean, this stuff doesn't happen unless you practice it.  just singing a note and hitting notes on the piano until you get it right isn't going to cut it, you need to sit down and work on it.  better get some kind of ear training manual online, i'm sure there is a lot of free information, plus there is a neat site with ear training exercises in flash or something.

ricci adams has a great site with online interval and other training, maybe it can help:

https://www.musictheory.net/
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