History and Development
1940 - 1950
At the end of the 1940s, Alfred Tomatis directed the acoustic labs of the aeronautical arsenals. While examining workers suffering from work-related deafness, he noted that the alterations that their ears presented were always accompanied by a vocal deficiency. At the same time, he also consulted and treated singers who had vocal problems. By testing the singers and creating an audiograph, he noted that they too presented exactly the same audiometric profile as the arsenal workers. The singers had damaged their voices by damaging their hearing. He quickly underscored the existence of the audiovocal loop according to which « the voice contains only what the ear can hear ».
1957 - 1960
It was around this time that the « TOMATIS laws » were submitted to the Academy of the Sciences in Paris.
These laws establish the relation between hearing and phonation, and by extension, between listening and communication. His discoveries led Alfred Tomatis to perfect a pedagogical plan that allowed for the permanent restauration of all of a singer’s deficient vocal qualities. This pedagogical plan based on an electronic system of shifting sound to stimulate the ear was baptised « The Electronic Ear ».
In 1958, the first Electronic Ear was presented at the Universal Expo in Brussels, and earned him the Gold Medal for scientific research.
1960 - 1970
The analysis of the sound message by the ear and the brain includes an emotional dimension. This is what allows us to distinguish hearing from listening. From then on, the TOMATIS Method’s field of application has considerably expanded, so that it now includes emotional disorders, learning difficulties, and language problems. Moroever, the learning of foreign languages, he discovered, requires the perceptual integration of their musicality (rhythm, sonority, timbre, etc.). This is how, in the 1960s, the Electronic Ear acquired many new parameters of personalizable adjustment depending on the subject’s problematic.
At the same time, the 1963 publication of Alfred Tomatis’s first book, The Ear and Language, allowed him to make his work known to a larger public.
1970 - 1980
During the 1970s, the classical aerial conduction of hearing is supplemented by the implementation of bone conductin in the headsets, which allows for the augmentation of the efficacity of the transmission of sound and its analysis by the brain. This technical progress is accompanied by the perfection of a specific device for the listening test (TLTS) as an evaluation tool. The TLTS lets a listening profile be established for each individual.
In the same period, several works are published, including the best seller The Ear and Life in 1977. As a testament to the success of the Method, a center for professional training is created and welcomes therapists from France, Switzerland, and Canada—a few years later, it will be open to the entire world.
1980 - 1990
During the 1980s, the TOMATIS Method expands considerably with the opening of centers in several European countries as well as in the United States and Mexico.
Research and technical progress are constantly on-going, because the Electronic Ear is constantly being perfected by integrating new parameters such as the delay, precession, laterality, and new filters.
Once again, several works are published, such as The Ear and the Voice, Why Mozart ?, Scholastic Difficulties, and Nine Months in Heaven…
1990 - 2000
The decade of the 1990s marks an important turning point with the standardization of procedures in order to offer a homogeneous application of the Method around the world. In order to guarantee the seriousness and the ambition of the TOMATIS Method, an important partnership is created with the famous Institute for the Physiology and Pathology of the Ear in Warsaw, under the direction of Professor Skarzynsky.
2000 - 2005
Between 2000 and 2005, technological progress is at the heart of the evolution of the TOMATIS Method, which is making the move from analog to digital equipment in order to drastically and dramatically improve the sound quality of the apparatus, as well as their fiability and their precision. From then on, the duration of the listening programs for the Electronic Ear is considerably shortened without compromising its efficacity. Alfred Tomatis dies on December 25, 2001 after having given the reins to his son Christian Tomatis and his collaborator Thierry Gaujarengues. They create TOMATIS DEVELOPPEMENT S.A.
The professional association L’ass IARCTC also sees the light of day at the same time, and brings together professionals across the world who were trained in the Method.
2005 - 2010
Between 2005 and 2010, the miniaturization of components allow for the development of a innovative portable device known as SOLISTEN. This device faithfully reproduces the TOMATIS effect and allows patients and clients the possibilty of doing their listening sessions at home. It is available through trained and qualified therapists.
In the same period, thanks to financing from the European Union, 220 public and private schools are equipped with devices to provide the TOMATIS Method and thus combat academic failure.
2010 - 2015
Since 2010, more than 30 professional training sessions are organized each year around the world. TOMATIS DEVELOPPEMENT S.A. is constantly seeking to make the Method more accessible, better understood, and of course, always more effective.
His discoveries were made in the Sorbonne’s physiology laboratory and were then presented to the Academy of the Sciences and the Academy of Medicine in Paris in 1957 and 1960.
These discoveries were named the « Tomatis® Laws » :
• The voice only contains what the ear can hear ;
• if hearing is modified, the voice is immediately and unconsciously modified ;
• it is possible to transform phonation permanently by means of auditory sitmulation undertaken over a certain time (the law of remanence).
Tomatis Développement S.A. continues the tradition of the founder of the Tomatis® Method while also making this technique more comprehensible and accessible—and of course more effective thanks to technological progress and recent scientific research.