6.2.1 Speech, Voice and Academic Performance
How does Sound Therapy help pre-natal development?
By calming and de-stressing the mother so that her peaceful state is passed on to the foetus.
Dr Tomatis said the sound of the mother’s voice with its familiar tone and rhythm is what provides continuity between the pre-natal and post-natal worlds. The infant is particularly accustomed to the high frequency sounds of the voice as heard in the womb, and therefore has an immediate response of feeling reassured when presented with high frequency sounds filtered to a similar level.
When the mother listens to Sound Therapy she sleeps better, has less stress and her whole nervous system is harmonized. This creates the best environment for the development of the foetus.
“Sound Therapy babies” show a distinct lack of tension and anxiety as they grow. They feel secure in their relationship with their mother and go easily to other people. Studies have also shown that children exposed to classical music before birth are more intelligent.
How does Sound Therapy help speech problems or speech development?
It fully engages the various brain centres for speech and enhances linear sequential processing and vocal range.
Hearing and listening are part of the same system. When there is a speech problem, it is usually the reflection of a hearing or auditory processing problem.
Sound Therapy rehabilitates the hearing and so improves the person’s self-listening. When they can hear and monitor their own voice, their speech automatically improves.
Sound Therapy is the essential ‘mirror program’ for speech therapy, for, as Dr Tomatis discovered, a child can only produce sounds that he can hear. Sound Therapy increases the frequency range, and clarity of hearing. In addition, it supports motor development and planning, which are needed for correct articulation.
What causes stuttering?
A delay in sound reaching the left hemisphere of the brain due to confused laterality and left ear dominance.
Stuttering is caused by a fraction of a second delay in the person’s speech reaching their ears. This occurs when the person is left ear dominant because it takes longer for sound to reach the brain via the left ear.
The right ear hears simultaneously with our speech. Sound that comes in the left ear goes first to the right hemisphere and then must cross over to the left side, which is the language-processing centre, before it can be comprehended. It is like if you made a telephone call to the next suburb and it went half way around the world to get there.
When this time delay can be eliminated by causing the right ear to be the listening ear, the stuttering stops.
Tomatis lived with eighty stutterers for a year and by training them to be right ear dominant was able to get all of them to stop stuttering.
How does Sound Therapy help musical ability and voice?
By enhancing high frequency sound perception in both the ear and the voice.
When the capacity to hear the high frequencies is restored, the person’s musical appreciation is greatly enhanced because the high frequencies carry the emotional content and meaning of the music. When these frequencies are restored to the ear they are also restored to the voice, improving the resonance and range of the voice for both speaking and singing.
Analysis of the vocal spectrum of singers showed an increase in high frequency content after using Sound Therapy. One singer said: “I have notes in the top of my vocal range which are brand new!”
What is the benefit of nutrition for the ear?
The ears are a very nutrient rich organ, requiring high doses of anti-oxidants and minerals to perform optimally. Providing these nutrients enhances the ears potential to recover their full function.
Sound Therapy is an exercise program that taxes the ear to perform in ways it is not accustomed to. The stimulation brought about by the music requires the ear to begin functioning at a much higher level of muscular and vibratory activity than previously.
When you undertake a muscular training program the body needs more nutrients to support the new demands. The muscles of the ear, in particular, need extra nutrients, because the ear is a very nutrient rich organ. Unless extra nutrition is provided at the same time, the ear is struggling to suddenly improve its performance. Athletes always require more concentrated nutrition for the body. A Sound Therapy listener is becoming an athlete of the ear!
What is included in Sound Therapy’s Nutrition for the Ear?
Research shows that the most important nutrients to meet the ear’s requirements are minerals and anti-oxidants.
Colloidal minerals are very minute particles which have already been absorbed and processed by plants. They come in a liquid form and are readily “bio available”, meaning the body can absorb them. They are estimated to be 90% more available to the body than other types of mineral supplements. A good colloidal mineral will contain at least 60 different minerals.
Over the last few decades many new sources of anti oxidants have been discovered. The first generation, vitamins A, C and E will work for three hours in the body. The second generation found in grape seed extract and pine bark extract and Ginkgo Biloba will last two to three times longer. Third generation anti oxidants, (circuminoids) have now been discovered and will last for up to three days, cleaning your body of free radicals. A good antioxidant supplement will contain all of these ingredients.
How does Sound Therapy help academic achievement in children?
For a child to learn, The ear and brain must be able to perform efficiently. When this is achieved, learning, memory, abstract thought and behavior naturally improve.
Listening is the foundation for learning. When listening is improved, then the more complex language skills of speech, reading and writing can be mastered easily, and academic achievement races ahead. Behaviour also improves because the child is no longer struggling just to keep up and make sense of the world.
Gifted children, and in fact all children, can benefit from Sound Therapy, which is simply a way of providing added stimulus to develop and increase the resilience of the auditory system. It can be used to improve concentration, creative thinking, language skills, sleep, moods, energy levels, and to reduce stress.
Just as children need the stimulation of physical exercise, somersaults, roundabouts, swings and other coordination challenges, they benefit from the stimulation of the vestibular and auditory systems that Sound Therapy provides.
When Sound Therapy brings about change in the basic auditory pathways, there is a flow on effect to the higher neural levels, eventually reaching and improving academic abilities. Sound Therapy has been found to improve not only auditory processing but also motor coordination, visual perception, visual/motor skills and time order processing.
Sound Therapy has been found to enhance learning and life adjustment for children in the following ways.
- Processing of auditory information improved
- Processing speed improved
- Accurate sound detection – able to discern just noticeable differences in sounds
- Clarity of speech perception and articulation enhanced
- Discrimination of relevant sound from background noise
- Improved memory for complex sound patterns
- Better attention to sound
- Improved coordination and sensory integration
How does Sound Therapy help academic achievement in adults?
For adults study is a challenge and requires extra stimulus for the brain to be functioning at its best with regard to focus, memory and creativity.
Sound Therapy helps adults to study by improving concentration and memory, reducing stress and stimulating the brain to function as efficiently as possible. Music can stimulate pathways in the brain, enabling information to pass more easily. Adult students have used the program throughout their study and found it makes an enormous difference to their ability and their results.
For adult students Sound Therapy has been found to:
- Improve focus and concentration
- Improve memory recall
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase confidence
- Improve sleep and energy levels
- Increase creativity and expression through language
- Improve brain processing in both linguistic and technical areas.