The Listening Programme (TLP)

TLP an abbreviation for The Listening Programme was developed in 1999 by The National Academy for Child Development in USA. It was developed by a team composed of specialists in the following fields: neuro-development, speech and language, medicine and psychiatry; sound therapy using Tomatis, AIT and Samonas techniques; musicians and composers with especial experience in the effects of music upon the brain.

It was developed as an easy to use, home, based programme taking the minimum of time each day. It is now in use in many countries and it’s effectiveness has been successfully measured in a wide variety of situations. The training is provided by the team of developers with on going research and support. It uses many of the techniques developed by Tomatis, such as filtering, providing a bias for the generation of ear dominance, and a process called gating which augments the action of tiny muscles in the middle ear to defend the inner ear against very loud or very high frequency sound. The treatment is therefore helpful for individuals who have increased sensitivity to noise and to high frequencies, both caused by NDD, recurrent ear infections or allergies effecting to the ear. The filtering of the frequencies potentiates specific frequency input, increasing the sensitivity to each frequency. By doing this for the full range of frequencies it corrects any hearing deficiency for each frequency. This is helpful for those children who have deficiencies for specific frequencies caused by hearing loss during speech development, frequently resulting in slow attainment of speech and continuing pronunciation difficulties. Daily presentation of the full range of frequencies, achieved through music and nature sounds, increases the size and effectiveness of the cochlear, auditory nerve, and the language processing areas (remembering that Paula Tallal has found that each phoneme, smallest component of speech, has it’s own receptive area). It is only due to the use of the latest recording equipment that it has been possible to replicate these techniques developed by Tomatis.

It is well known that specific frequencies and rhythms will create foot tapping, it is now known that music in the same way can alter the rate of the heart beat, blood pressure and is therefore a very useful tool in treating physical illness. Joshua Leeds (one of the development team) has spent many years looking at the effects of music upon the brain. It is now appreciated that music directly effects the activity of the brain, the actual waves. This is known by some as the Mozart effect. The specific frequencies and rhythms found in Mozart’s music are found to foster the brain waves associated with active intellectual learning. For this reason much of the music used in the programme is by Mozart.

The musicians who recorded the music are aware of the intended outcome and are trained and experienced in methods of playing to potentiate this outcome. The conductor of the orchestra also being a member of the development team.