- Who or what is TOMATIS?
- Why is hearing so vitally important?
- Who can benefit from this listening training based on the Tomatis method®?
- How does listening training work?
- Sound a bit like being on holiday?
Prof. Dr. med. Alfred Tomatis was a French ENT doctor. He carried out postgraduate studies at the medical faculty of Paris University and practiced there for many years.
In his intensive and wide-reaching studies on audio-psycho-phonology, Tomatis demonstrated that the ear plays a crucial role in human development. Until then, much too little attention had been paid to this sense organ – often still neglected even today.
The ear is the first sense organ that is fully formed during embryonic development – in the fifth month of pregnancy. Throughout our lives it ensures that human beings are integrated into all life processes.
To do so, the ear must fulfil three fundamental functions:
|What happens if the ear does not perform these functions as well as it might?|
1. It provides balance.
1. if our sense of balance is disturbed, we may find it hard to climb stairs or ride a bicycle, may find ourselves always bumping into something or in the figurative sense find that something is off kilter with our work-life balance; perhaps someone like this feels lethargic or not keen on sport or is, on the contrary, hyperactive – in other words, not well-balanced…
2. It is a key organ of communication.
2. if someone doesn’t hear and listen properly, they don’t understand what the other is asking them. As a result, they “clam up” and may respond obdurately, or often have to ask people to repeat themselves; perhaps they have difficulties with reading or singing. Or then again, they may be a straight-A student – but everything is so hard. You may have to say everything twice before the message gets through, perhaps they’re not so hot at dictation or struggle with foreign languages…perhaps the person speaks with a “boring” voice or an excessively high-pitched tone…
3. It energises the brain.Stimuli picked up via the ear are the fuel driving the brain. High frequencies in particular help to keep us lively ...
3. if the brain is not energised, you slow down, become more forgetful, withdraw from life, lose interest in the outside world… and so on…
Tomatis did not simply identify these links. He developed a method that makes it possible to optimise all the basic functions and even to provide relief in cases of distortions in listening.
Two small muscles in the ear are primarily responsible for transporting sound waves that penetrate the ear via the connecting nerves into the brain – where the sound waves are then processed.
The training method Tomatis developed focuses first and foremost on training these muscles. With the assistance of a special device (the “electronic ear”), specially prepared music is delivered to the ear to ensure that the muscles receive optimum stimulation and are thus trained.
Almost anyone, who would like to participate fully in life:
- for people, who would like to keep on hearing really well for a long time and so keep on communicating. (People live longer nowadays – making listening training an important element in enjoying good hearing your whole life long!)
- for everyone who works with their ears and voice – teachers, nursery school staff, announcers, singers, musicians, actors, interpreters, trainers, lawyers, clergymen, politicians, experts……… and mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers…..
- for anyone who would like to improve their awareness of their body – and would like to enhance their balance, perception of space, sense of rhythm; in other words it’s just right for both “absolute beginners” and sportsmen, dancers etc.
- for pregnant women, who have to re-calibrate their balance, listening training can assist with becoming well-centred to facilitate an easy birth.
- for anyone who seems to have lost their zest for life because they are under too much stress or no longer take real pleasure in what they do…… in other words, when their (inner) balance is no longer in equilibrium…
- for anyone who would like to optimise their grasp of a foreign language – this method makes it possible to internalise the rhythm and melody of a language, as well as pronunciation – because the language is “absorbed” by the inner ear muscles.
- for children and young people to offer a helping hand with learning difficulties – particularly with reading, writing, concentration, attention etc.
- for many people who suffer hearing problems after hearing loss, or due to tinnitus or hearing impairments. In cases of organic damage, listening training may be helpful; in most cases it offers scope to make much better use of the potential that remains.
How does listening training work?
After an extensive test (1-1.5h) an individual programme is drawn up. After that, you come along regularly for a particular period to the Tomatis Institute® for two-hour sessions, during which you sit in a comfortable chair and listen through earphones to the specially prepared music, mostly pieces by Mozart or Gregorian chant. In the meantime you can simply have a rest, sleep or draw or do a jigsaw puzzle……, but not read or write! Later we also include work with your voice in the training programme.
Sound a bit like being on holiday?
(My TOMATIS listening training was the best break I ever had!) Thanks to listening training based on the Tomatis method®, everything can be put in the right place once again within people. And as you probably know, if something changes in you, then your environment will change too – quite inevitably!