I’ve read about Tomatis years ago during my early foray with the web and I’ve learned from a student about Tomatis Philippines branch. Ok, this is circa late 90s. Among the so many articles I printed about special education, the one about Tomatis method was read again and again. It interested me so.
Fast forward to three years ago, I had a student who underwent a Tomatis Listening Program in Alabang. The parents were so happy with the results. They said that their child, my student, has greatly improved after she underwent a Tomatis Listening Program.
What is Tomatis Method?
The Tomatis Method was developed by Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis, a French Ear-Nose-Throat or ENT specialist. The study of auditory processing and language development was pioneered by him which led to a new multi-disciplinary science called Audio Psycho Phonology or APP.
It was the Tomatis Method which led to the discovery of ear and voice interrelationship: the voice can only reproduce what the ear hears. One of the causes of learning problems is the inability to listen.
The Tomatis Method allows children and adults alike to improve their listening skills for better and improved learning skills in a non-invasive and drug-free way. This can be coupled with occupation and/or speech-language therapy and/or special education services.
Listening and communication are the targeted learning modes wherein the auditory stimulation between the ear and the voice are given focused to stimulate the ear’s ability to listen and the brain’s ability to understand what is being heard.
The Tomatis Method makes use of the Music of Mozart because of these three elements: rhythm for human balance, harmony for reaching emotions and melody for the intellect.
The Tomatis Method also uses Gregorian Chant (which by the way, our nun teachers had us learn to sing via Latin songs) because of its proportional beat that is close to the respiratory rhythm. This beat has a succession of sequences of unequal length said to be found in ocean waves that come one after the other but not identical.
The Tomatis Method re-trains the listening system through:
- use of electronically modified music and language to improve auditory information processing
- enhances the ability to know the difference between frequencies which are all necessary for language development and auditory information processing
- use of Electronic Ear
Why is Listening an important factor in Learning?
For school children who learn through auditory means most of the time, listening is the key to learning the concepts and facts presented in class. We’ve heard it time and again, teachers complain that students “do not listen” or “Are not focusing and listening”. This is true to most students, specially those who have developmental and learning problems.
I wrote in a post about Study Skills that:
For me, study skills involve active listening, discussions, allowing the children to explore their surroundings, interactions between the teachers and the students and/or among students themselves.
Good Learners are Good Listeners.
The Tomatis Method is guided by the principle that “good learners are good listeners”. How so?
- Good learners are good listeners first because they focus on what they are listening to, as trained with the various frequencies the children undergoing the program listen to.
- Good learners are right ear dominant.
- Good listeners know which things they should listen to and can filter the not-so-relevant information.
Who can benefit from a Tomatis Listening Program?
Children and adults diagnosed with ADHD, Autism, Learning Disability, Sensory Processing Disorders can benefit from Tomatis Listening Program. Even those who were not diagnosed can benefit from the program because their listening skills will be more enhanced thus making them more productive and better learners.
What happens during a Tomatis Program?
- A listening assessment is first conducted to know a client’s auditory skills levels.
- An individual Tomatis Program is designed to meet each and every child’s needs and level.
- After every 15 hours of the program, progress is tracked through a listening test followed by a short interview or counseling session. This allows the team to see how much was achieved in terms of the areas where problems are pinpointed, and what feedback the child and the parents have of the program.
- Further changes will be done to suit the child’s present level.
- During sessions, children listen to personalized tracks playing in the headphones they wear. These tracks, usually consisting of Mozart music, Gregorian chants, the mother’s voice and some voice exercises and are tuned to the frequency needed by the child are put together by the Tomatis consultants pictured below: Ria Vecin, Joanne Pedrosa and Gem Manosa.
Individualized Listening Programs consist of 3 phases which last for 10 days. Each of these days have 2 hour sessions. A four – eight week break is given after each phase.
This entry was posted on Sunday, April 3rd, 2011 at 3:14 pm and is filed under ADHD, Autism, behavior modification, Being a (Special Ed) Teacher, Challenge Yourself, Down Syndrome, Giftedness, Interesting tidbits, Language Development, Learning Disabilities, mental retardation, Parenting, Philippines, special education, Teaching Techniques. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.