Te Listening Centre • 599 Maram St., Toronto, ON, M6G 2L7, Te: 416 588-4136, E-mai: isteniirect.com •
ext door in the adult room, an opera singereas a iretto into a micropone, ouy anwit great vigour, an receives eeac o erown voice. Neary, a moter recors a ae tatwill be specially processed electronically for hergrade-school daughter, who has serious speechmpeiments, to isten to. Trougout te ay,oters wi venture to Te Listening Centre orheir own voyage in sound stimulation and audi-ory training. It is all designed to reawaken theear and body and even the desire to embrace life.oronto’s Listening Centre is one of the largestan most respecte o more tan 200 aciitiesworldwide that are based on the so-called Toma-tis Method, a rather unorthodox view of how the ear works. The idea was developed in the early 1950sby Alfred Tomatis, a French ear, nose, and throat specialist who described a highly active role for the ear,a unction tat compemente te rain’s wor.In a ey eparture rom te traitiona neuropysioogy o te ear, Tomatis istinguise etween ear-ing an istening. To ear, e caime, is to perceive soun. To isten is to tune tose souns seectivey,an all-encompassing process that shapes our connections to the world around us. In this light, it is pos-sible to hear sounds but not attend to them. While people might actually hear well, they could still haveistening proems rougt on y a range o psycoogica stresses.Tomatis was convince tat istening i cuties, especiay among ciren, e to speec an anguageimpairment, earning isaiities, ac o concentration an aertness, te tenency to interrupt oters,depression, and even severe withdrawal, such as in the case of autism. It was quite the proposition, con-sidering that traditional medicine had viewed the ear essentially as a receiver piping sounds to the brain,were te processing an rea perceptua wor occurre.By te mi-1950s, Tomatis a evise a meto to treat tese types o proems y correcting pooristening. It invove use o a evice, ue te Eectronic Ear, tat emits various soun requen-cies, or ranges, to stimulate and train the ear to listen more effectively. He claimed the method not onlyimproved the quality of the voice and language and organizational skills but also helped reenergize therain. An since te inner ear is cosey associate wit aance an movement, is soun-stimuationapproac wou aso improve posture an coorination.I true, it meant amost anyone cou ene t rom te Tomatis Meto - rom tose suering rom amild to severe breakdown in communication to those simply desiring a listening tune-up. A story often told about Tomatis by his advocates is how he managed to give a new lease on life to agroup of Benedictine monks who had “lost their spirit.” In the mid-1960s, the monks at a French abbeyin te sout o France were suering rom extreme atigue an epression. Various meica prescrip-tions, suc as a cange in iet, meications, an a vitamin regimen, a prove utie. Seeping ongerhours only made matters worse.