Listening | Learning | Development

History and Development

1940 - 1950

1940 - 1950At 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 observed in their hearing 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

1957 - 1960It was around this time that the Tomatis Laws were submitted to the Academy of the Sciences in Paris. These laws establish the relationship 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 restoration 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 christened the Electronic Ear. In 1958, the first Electronic Ear was presented at the Universal Expo in Brussels, and earned Tomatis the Gold Medal for Scientific Research.

1960 - 1970

1960 - 1970The 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 this decade forward, the Tomatis Method’s field of application considerably expanded, so that it now includes emotional disorders, learning difficulties, and language problems.
Moroever, the learning of foreign languages, Tomatis 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 personalised adjustment depending on the subject’s specific needs.
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

1970 - 1980During the 1970s, the classical aerial conduction of hearing was supplemented by the implementation of bone conduction in the headsets, which allowed for the augmentation of the efficacy of the transmission of sound and its analysis by the brain. This technical progress was accompanied by the perfection of a specific device for the listening test (TLTS) as an evaluation tool.
The TLTS allowed a listening profile to be established for each individual. In the same period, several works were published, including the best seller The Ear and Life in 1977. As a testament to the success of the Tomatis Method, a center for professional training was created and welcomed therapists from France, Switzerland, and Canada. A few years later, it would be open to the entire world.

1980 - 1990

1980 - 1990During the 1980s, the Tomatis Method expanded considerably with the opening of centres in several European countries as well as in the United States and Mexico. Research and technical progress were constantly on-going because the Electronic Ear was constantly being perfected by integrating new parameters such as the delay, precession, laterality, and new filters.
Once again, several works were published, namely The Ear and the Voice, Why Mozart?, Scholastic Difficulties, and Nine Months in Heaven…

1990 - 2000

1990 - 2000The decade of the 1990s marked an important turning point with the standardisation of procedures in order to offer a homogeneous application of the Method around the world.
In order to safeguard the professionalism and the goals of the Tomatis Method, an important partnership was created with the renowned Institute for the Physiology and Pathology of the Ear in Warsaw, under the direction of Professor Skarzynsky.

2000 - 2005

2000 - 2005Between 2000 and 2005, technological progress was at the heart of the evolution of the Tomatis Method, as the move from analog to digital equipment drastically and dramatically improved the sound quality of the apparatus, as well as its reliability and precision.
From this time forward, the duration of the listening programs for the Electronic Ear was considerably shortened without compromising its efficacy.
Alfred Tomatis died on December 25, 2001 after having handed the reins to his son Christian Tomatis and his collaborator Thierry Gaujarengues. They created Tomatis Developpement S.A. The professional association IARCTC was also formed at the same time, bringing together professionals across the world who were trained in the Method.

2005 - 2010

2005 - 2010Between 2005 and 2010, the miniaturisation of components allowed for the development of an 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 were equipped with devices to provide the Tomatis Method and thus combat academic failure.

2010 - 2015

2010 - 2015

Since 2010, more than 30 professional training sessions have been organised 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.


- 2010

Alfred Tomatis
The Tomatis Method was created and perfected by Alfred Tomatis (January 1, 1920 - December 25, 2001), a French doctor, internationally known otolaryngologist and inventor. He devoted a significant part of his professional life to studying the relationship between the ear and the voice and, by extension, between listening and communication.
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. His alternative medicine theories of hearing and listening are known as the Tomatis method.

These discoveries were named the Tomatis Laws:
The voice contains only 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).