I love music and would love to develop a musical ear. My problem is that I can't get started. All tutorials that I find start at a more advanced point compared to where I am at. I can't carry a tune. When I think that I'm singing a melody, people tell me that I'm singing the same note over and over again. If a note is played on the piano, I can't sing it back even if it's in my natural range. When I took music theory in college, they would skip over me in all singing exercises. I can't tell intervals, except for minor second and sometimes an octave, although sometimes perfect fifths and fourths sound like octaves to me. The rest sound the same. I can't tell major from minor. When trying to pick out a melody, I usually can't tell if a note goes up, down or stays the same. Actually, notes that stay the same are particularly hard because the downbeat always feels higher than the upbeat, i.e. pa-PAM - where both notes are the same - sounds like the second note is higher. I can't tell if someone's guitar is out of tune. But I know I'm not tone deaf, as I've been able to pick out some melodies over the years that go I-IV-V-I.
All tutorials that I have found so far rely on singing or playing a note that you hear. But I can do neither of those things. Yet I refuse to believe that I'm hopeless. I listen to music for hours every day from classical to jazz to world to rock to pop and I love all of it.
So can someone recommend an approach where I can feel like I can get off the bench and get in the game and start making forward progress?