Tomatis – Sound and the Ear
Sound for Learning Disabilities, Listening Programs and the “Sonic Birth”
Dr. Alfred Tomatis launched the field of psychoacoustics with his pioneering and groundbreaking discoveries. He was the first to recognize the cybernetic relationship between the ear and the voice – – called the Tomatis Effect – -and the relationship between the vestibular system and the body – -which led to his use of bone-conducted sound to help brain and body integration. He was the first researcher to uncover the energizing effect of high-frequency sounds to improve alertness, attentiveness and creativity and the importance of developing a dominant ear to control language and musicality.
Through his research, he came to understand that babies hear the high frequencies in the womb through bone conduction and when they are born they go through a complex process of engaging and integrating their first experience with air conduction sound. He called this a “sonic birth”. He invented The Electronic Ear – – psychoacoustically modified music — and developed a program with it called The Tomatis Method to help people with many previously inaccessible developmental, language and learning difficulties. Tomatis was also well known for his ability to help musicians, singers and actors with their musical and vocal productions (e.g. Maria Callas, Gerard Depardieu).
In addition to a brief history of Dr. Tomatis’s work and key concepts this presentation will cover prenatal listening, the impact of birth interventions on auditory processing, the healthy development of listening and the auditory-psychophysiological effects on the conscious ear from early childhood experiences. Special emphasis will be given to Tomatis’ concept of the “sonic birth” – -the complex process the baby goes through to engage and integrate their first experience with air-conducted sound. Understanding Tomatis’ foundational work helps in designing complementary sound healing sessions.