Listening training using the Tomatis® Method consists of listening to a specifically designed playlist using special headphones that provide both air conduction and bone conduction on a Tomatis® TalksUp device. The dual stimulation via air and bone conduction, paired with music that has been filtered and processed to optimize brain plasticity, helps to address listening skill development.
I consider it a force multiplier. It can help amplify the work of the teachers or therapists that the client is already collaborating with.
The Tomatis® Method is a natural and non-invasive educational program that stimulates the brain through gentle sound processes.
It is safe and not painful.
TalksUp® listening intensives use specially filtered tracks. Selections from Mozart, gregorian chant, waltzes, and marches make up many of the playlists in a Listening Intensive.
Other listening devices in the Tomatis® methodology (Infinite, Soundsory) will also have selections from Haydn, Bach, Handel, Chevalier de Saint-George, Strauss, Sousa, Children’s songs, Gospel, Latin, Jazz, and in Sonic Journeys, recordings of mother’s voice.
Depending on the profile, the Consultant will create a program that will include filters and sound processing that can make the music tracks range from sounding very full, rich and “bassy” to thin and tinny, with clicks or signal switches.
I work with all ages.
Listening skills are valuable throughout our entire life,.
As a Waldorf teacher and eurythmist, I have witnessed children having difficulty in the classroom, and having to leave their Waldorf schools/communities as a result of weak listening skills. I’d love to keep more students in Waldorf schools by helping them with this remedy-able weakness.
One of my goals is to bring Tomatis® Method work into the world of Waldorf education and there are Waldorf schools across the nation. Because its curriculum is heavily based on oral and auditory skills, it seems natural to me to want to offer this modality to support the population that needs extra help with their listening skills.
No, in fact, in addition to working in the Chicago metropolitan area, I’ve had clients from out of state — either them traveling to me or me traveling to them.
In-person meetings tend to consist of listening test administration, but managing a Listening Journey can be done remotely via online conferencing, telephone, even email and text. The new technology (TalksUp® device) is portable enough that intensives can be done in-home and coordinated from my location.
A Listening Journey is a series of three* 14-day intensives. Each 14 day intensive typically consists of at least:
- A passive session – when you listen to your personalized Tomatis® playlist on the Tomatis TalksUp® device, using your purchased Infinite® headset.
- A rest period – when you integrate the stimulation and take a break from any Tomatis® activities
A prescribed active session – when you do audio-vocal work with either the Infinite® headset or the TalksUp® device.
Between each intensive is a rest period that is used to consolidate and integrate the audio-stimulation, which can last from 4 to 12 weeks, depending on the profile.
A journey begins with an assessment and an initial evaluation and continuous evaluations and consultations each intensive. A concluding evaluation is typically scheduled no sooner than 45 days after the final listening session concludes.
As you progress along your journey, the following items may be woven into your journey as deemed necessary or appropriate.
Bone conduction work
Using a specially designed kit to stimulate via modules applied to the body with the included belt/glove. This method is especially helpful for profiles that cannot wear headphones (babies, who are too small; auditorial/tactile sensitivity that prevents headphone usage, etc.).
Forbrain or Soundsory work.
These are other listening devices that may be recommended depending on the needs of the situation. The Forbrain® headset uses an open ear design to deliver bone conduction stimulation that supports cognitive development related to attention and memory issues. The Soundsory® headset is an excellent tool for stimulating vestibular work. These two options can be used as standalone devices, but as sub-modalities of a Tomatis® Intensive, they multiply its effects. They can be purchased for use outside of a Listening Intensive, and if you use my affiliate code, you can receive 10% off: 2A3401938.
* For neurotypically developed profiles
From initial assessment to final consultation, a three-intensive journey can last about six months including all the intensives, rest periods, evaluations and consultations.
Each Listening journey is highly individual and its length is determined by the level of ability, tolerance and endurance of each client as determined by the Consultant’s initial and continuous evaluation. A highly functioning, capable profile may only need breaks of four weeks duration between intensives. A highly sensitive or a complicated case may need 6-8 weeks between sessions, and it’s not unheard of for a break to be up to 16 weeks.
A listening intensive consists of 14 days of listening to a music playlist that can range from 40 minutes up to 120 minutes a day, depending on the severity of the issues being addressed. The Consultant, after the initial evaluation, will determine the appropriate length given a client’s level of ability, tolerance and profile
If the commitment to doing three intensives is not an option for you at this time, there are some options available. They are much more gentle and less demanding of scheduling and timing. Be aware though, that because they are gentle and less demanding, their results, while effective, do not go as deep and are not as long lasting as the listening series in a Tomatis® Listening Journey. They also serve as excellent preparatory devices to help develop auditory tolerance needed for a Listening Journey, and they can be used as further support between intensives on a Listening Journey.
As each client is highly individual, each person’s experience of the Tomatis® method is likewise. Some may experience an increase in energy and vitality. Others may encounter deep emotions and dramatic releases. Some may even say that they felt nothing, but what is more telling is the experience of people around the person listening – they may report that the listener has changed – perhaps they are less grumpy or less impulsive, maybe they misplace items less or are more socially flexible.
For non-neurotypically developing profiles, perhaps length of eye-contact increases or mean length of utterances increases, or the quality of social engagement improves. For child having trouble in school, the teacher or classmates may encounter a child who now has self-confidence and can express themselves well, not only verbally but also in written language – homework assignments get done and turned in on time, note-taking ability and content improves, working memory increases. The possibilities are numerous, and I’ve personally witnessed these changes with clients.
Again, this varies with each profile. I can say that some people see improvement after the first intensive, sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic. Other times, change occurs in steps over the three (or in Sonic Journey cases, several) intensives.
In our first evaluation, it’s important to document concise, quantifiable, examples of issues that clients would like to address (and even in continuing evaluations). Vague descriptions/definitions or even (gasp) diagnoses are not concise enough to be able to effectively measure, but a concrete goal (counting the number of times a disruption in class occurs, the number of steps in a series of directions and the frequency of completing them, the number of days that you can’t get out of bed due to emotional distress, etc.) is much easier to quantify and track. Additionally, this is a quicker way for you to see progress than waiting for the results of an evaluation/listening test.
Ultimately, the goal of doing Tomatis® Method work is to train the voice so that it has the harmonics necessary to provide energy to the brain so that it can help you regulate your listening skills.
So once you’ve achieved that goal, you may never need to do Tomatis® Method work again. But much like the occasional yoga class that you take when you haven’t been to the studio in years, it can be an effective lifestyle experience than can be done whenever you feel like you need a little cognitive boost.
However, developing, growing and maintaining your listening skills is an ongoing and active exercise, so even if you don’t progress to the level of needing another Listening Journey, you have tools from it that you can use.
If you have a bilateral hearing loss of greater than or equal to 70dB, Tomatis® work will have limited benefit for you. To develop listening skills, a baseline of hearing ability is a basic assumption.
I have worked with clients having issues with memory and attention, vertigo, global developmental delay, learning challenges, even clients exhibiting traits on the autism spectrum. The age ranges span from 2 weeks to over 80 years old.
If you have a bilateral hearing loss of greater than or equal to 70dB, it’s very likely that Tomatis® Method work would be of very little benefit, this would also be the case with bilateral cochlear implants. Full hearing loss in one ear (especially the right ear) may also find little benefit, but can be pursued if there is a desire to support the listening in the remaining ear, despite the mono-aural experience hampering the effects. In cases where there is a history of seizure activity or epilepsy, I caution clients that Tomatis® Method work must proceed very carefully and gradually, but that my own experience is not very deep or wide here, so I’m happy to refer them out to another more experienced practitioner. This is also my standard operating procedure – if the client presents with a profile that is outside my realm of experience, I will offer reference to a more experienced practitioner. However, if there is still a wish to proceed with me, I will ensure that I receive proper mentoring and will coordinate with the client and their related therapists.
I have been a Tomatis® practitioner since 2012, but have been a sound stimulation modality lurker since 2004.
I am a fully trained, Level 4 Tomatis® Consultant, capable of designing individualized programs and administering sessions that include filtered tracks of mother’s voice.
I am certified Waldorf teacher and a eurythmist. I have taught parent-child classes, substituted in early childhood, taught in various grades from first grade through high school, as well as adults in teacher training.
I also practice continual professional development with courses, workshops and educational summits in a variety of fields (MNRI, EFT, EEM, Werbeck singing, RGM, ADHD/ADD/ASD-related courses, as well as courses addressing TBI, trauma, reading challenges, dyslexia, movement, dyspraxia, play therapy (Floortime), child development and education that create a firm knowledge foundation for helping clients develop their listening skills.
A full, three-intensive Listening Journey is $2,700 (which includes your purchase of the Infinite® headset) and requires a commitment of your time and energy in addition to your financial investment; and none of these is taken lightly. The cost is commensurate with the commitment both on your part as well as on mine, since the administration, management and continuing evaluation require dedication of time, energy and knowledge.
Cost breakdown per intensive: $900 each; $800 each if you already own an Infinite® headset.
Unfortunately not. Because Tomatis® work is educational in nature, it is not considered a therapeutic modality and therefore not covered by insurance. It might fall under the auspices of some HSA plans – contact your employee benefits administrator to see if this is an option.
Mother’s Voice work consists of obtaining a recording of the mother’s voice, processing it and filtering it in such a way that it can be used during a listening intensive that recreates the sonic environment experienced in utero. Through a series of programmatic and filtering modifications, the mother’s voice is used to reintroduce the listener to a healthy unfolding and development of listening skills when they have been severely disturbed or interrupted. It has been used in cases of severe physical developmental disruption, as in babies born prematurely, exposure to drugs and/or alcohol or other substances in utero, even some autistic profile cases. It has also been applied for instances of experiencing severe trauma, such that there are attachment difficulties, Embarking on a Sonic Journey to do Mother’s Voice work is only done after evaluation and education by a Tomatis® Consultant, and is at their discretion.
Mother’s voice work is done in the context of a Sonic Journey, which is a more intense, deeper dive, and longer journey than the standard Listening Journey. It must be experienced within a framework that recreates the sonic environment that closely approximates the sonic experience in utero. People who have done a Sonic Journey have had several listening intensive loops over the course of (minimally) a year. So to do a Sonic Journey is quite a commitment of time, energy, work and finances.
Isolating the intensive that only has Mother’s Voice work would be the equivalent of having a sedentary individual run a marathon without any training/support. So the answer is no, I will not do Mother’s voice with you until you have had the proper listening exposure through a Sonic Journey.
This requires an evaluation with a Tomatis® Consultant. Generally speaking, most of the population that I work with tend to do very well with the standard three-intensive Listening Journey. A Sonic Journey can last at least a year, with the commensurate intensives and rest periods, so the effort, energy and costs are much higher.
You will probably continue life as you did before, with the accommodations and compensations that have been in place. If they are working for you, then there’s not a pull to do Tomatis® Method work.
A developing child will also devise or be taught coping strategies and compensations, or be given accommodations as they negotiate their academic career. Frustration and emotional regulation may be developmental bumps along the way, and this may affect the level of self esteem and confidence, and perhaps limit their achievement abilities as they progress through the grade levels. Children can be quite resilient. But research shows that early intervention is most effective. Still, there are many adults today who have been able to navigate these challenges, so generally speaking, it’s not a fatal choice if you decide not to pursue this modality.
However, if you’re looking for transformation as a result of improving this skillset, you can always come back here and book a consultation!
Yes! Here are a few relevant articles.