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Tomatis for Musicians

Roberta Prada and Francis Keeping

Singers, instrumentalists, and conductors see dramatic results with Tomatis-based work. The course of listening is traditionally thirty days of two-hour sessions of specially prepared music in half- hour blocks. We remind musicians not to listen critically; the music sounds strange and muffled. In the second round we add active sessions, teaching posture, with listen and repeat drills of short hummed or spoken phrases. Italian pronunciation drills improve vocal technique, so to kill two birds with one stone, singers speak song words into the microphone, which filters the voice and returns it through headphones with added bone conduction. The first sessions are listening, with a rest from performing. During the second phase performance is expected. Change is felt immediately, more after 30 days, and continues after training is over.

We challenge the ear by filtering out the lows starting at 250 Hz, gradually reaching 8000 Hz, and train the right ear to assume its natural leadership for mastering language and technique. The pathway of sound through the right ear is shorter and most efficient. Sound comes to the brain through from bone to cochlea and then through external ear pathway, so this distinction is part of the delivery as well. Bravura technique is only possible when the right ear leads, bone conduction has been fully experienced, and the ears are fully awake. When the artist engages with the sound of his own voice, we are setting the scene for change. Bone conduction (heightened by a transducer in the headphone) sets the body aflame with resonance. The pleasure of this experience leaves the subject craving to renew it.


Attention span lengthens immediately bringing improved short-term memory. The student/artist focuses and understands. Progress is steady, plateaus virtually disappear, and learning becomes an adventure. What a relief it is for capable teacher to address a student who is not contemplating a distant galaxy during his lesson! Tomatis is no substitute for technique, but it accelerates learning spectacularly. Balance, posture and body scheme improve through the ear-brain connection. Stage fright abates as the body feels grounded, and taking stage direction is easier with calm attention. The ear controls the body and with it technique. As the artist encounters his authentic creative voice, his communication is informed by a richer, more complex sound, clear ideas, and emotional depth.
There are exciting surprises for listeners, in vivid dreams and in waking hours, throughout the process. When we rearrange the furniture at home, there is always that moment of chaos. We are moving the furniture inside people’s heads, and the process can be amusing and tempestuous. Our artist find that listening creates something new and permanent.

Tomatis originally worked on artists with professional fatigue: singers subject their own voices, (80 decibels or more inside the head) and instrumentalists. Dead hair cells in the cochlea will not regenerate; Tomatis based training improves function, and the direct stimulation of the brain via bone is always helpful. Foreign language acquisition is an elegant vehicle for acquiring focus, attention, memory, better pitch, richness and fluidity of sound, grounding, balance, etc. We now have small, inexpensive portables, convenient to use and share, for people who need to fit the program into a busy schedule, or who need topping up occasionally. This work is more than repair. We see it as a way to accelerate learning, and to get the competitive edge. We have seen enormous gains in all our clients, young and old. All of them go about their lives with more ease, making knowing choices that serve them well.

Roberta Prada and Francis Keeping, New York

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Psychosonique Yogathérapie Psychanalyse & Psychothérapie Dynamique des groupes Eléments Personnels

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(C) Roberta Prada, Francis Keeping and Giornale della musica

June, 24, 2007