The TOMATIS Method is pedagogy of active listening. By means of the Electronic Ear, it trains the auditory system, using sonic material sufficiently rich in rhythm, frequencies, and volume such that, once filtered, it retains the dynamic characteristics necessary for this auditory exercise.
The Tomatis Effect Electronic Ear is a sophisticated device that, equipped with certain specific functions, enables implementation of the auditory training indispensable to the mastery of listening. These functions are the controls:
of the electronic gating mechanism which, by means of successive impulses, induces the ability to localize different acoustic bands through the activity of the middle ear;
of the latency times, or delays, which enable regulation of the ability of our auditory captor to adapt to external messages;
of auditory laterality, which fosters the dominant function of the right ear in the process of the audio-vocal control of the sounds produced by the individual himself.
In order to function, the Electronic Ear must be supplied with sonic material selected for dynamic qualities that enable the implementation of the essential functions stated above. This musical material, which in certain cases complements the traditional use of the mother’s voice and of children’s songs, is, for the most part, taken from the works of Mozart. Gregorian Chant is also used frequently, although not to the same extent.
With respect to music, we prefer to use that of Mozart because, even after having been treated in our laboratory in such a way that the high frequencies necessary for energizing the brain are emphasized, it retains its dynamic qualities better than other music. Moreover, we might speculate that the very positive results obtained with this music can be explained by its universal character, as noted in different sources. We have systematically observed, in thousands of cases, that this music both energizes and relaxes individuals from various ethnic and cultural origins. The music of Mozart is, in fact, endowed with an extraordinary liberating force which has an invigorating and revitalizing effect upon listeners.
Thus, when an individual — child, adolescent, or adult — has benefited from a certain number of listening sessions involving the music of Mozart processed through the Tomatis Effect Electronic Ear, we can observe the appearance of mechanisms of communication such as:
the toning up of the muscular system with observable effects on motor coordination, body language and posture;
very evident effects on the neurovegetative system, with a normalization of sleep patterns and appetite;
improvement of attentiveness and thus of attention and concentration;
increase in the visual, verbal, and auditory memory so necessary for developing learning strategies;
development of creative ability;
a perceptible decrease of aggressiveness and vulnerability.
However, the works of Mozart are not the only musical source used in the TOMATIS Method; a large place is also accorded to Gregorian Chant, which has the dual characteristics of containing all the frequencies of the human voice and of using a rhythm that fosters quiet breathing, thus inducing the absolute calm in which the singer found himself. Gregorian Chant is, then, a particularly interesting sonic material in the sense that, although energizing, it induces a normal and regular breathing pattern that is soothing. In such a musical context, the individual can easily achieve a state of relaxed attentiveness.