A pedagogy of listening

About hearing and listening!

You can have fantastic hearing and be a miserable listener at the same time! You can train your listening!

What does listening to here mean?

And - can one learn?

Welcome to the "universe" of directed attention, the land of concentration, understanding and communication! Is not it enough to hear well? Of course it is incredibly important that we hear well! Who wanted to contest that?

But what distinguishes mere listening from the ability to listen well?

The Paris Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist, Prof. Dr. med. med. Alfred Tomatis was already employed in the 1960s and he was able to explain the difference between listening and hearing due to his research. His research indicates that hearing is a passive activity that we hope (hopefully) to have from birth.

From birth?

No, already at the 24th week of pregnancy, the fetus begins "in utero" with the hearing! This fact, which has since been proved beyond doubt, was also postulated by Tomatis in the 1960s. By now everybody knows that the baby already hears in the mother's stomach. But back to the question, what makes listening different from hearing?   So hearing is, according to Tomatis, a passive condition for healthy people, that we can - at best - also be good listeners.  

But one can "hear" fantastic and at the same time being a miserable "listener".  

In fact, listening means that our sense of hearing is able to filter out everything that is not needed at the moment. otherwise it would be a distraction! If the information is well filtered by the sense of hearing, the further processing brain centers can deal with the actual essential. And only then can we be in the state that is broadly described as "focused".

Prof. Dr. Already in the 1960s, Alfred Tomatis succeeded in describing the neurophysiological control loop so important for listening. He postulated a new theory of hearing-processing completely deviating from conventional medicine, which is oriented to the anatomical conditions of the ear and its neuro-anatomical connection and brings all connections into a plausible context.

At a time when it was not yet possible to prove scientifically what Tomatis described in this context, he faced a great number of hostility. In particular, the French, German and Austrian otorhinolaryngologists attested Tomatis in a statement that can still be found on the World Wide Web, the "incomprehensibility" of his theory. In the 1990s, independent scientists were able to describe the "cochlear enhancer effect" that is now recognized by ENT doctors. This new scientific insight fits seamlessly into this listening or listening theory of Tomatis and even affirms it. The clinical experience with the Tomatis® method since the 1960's leaves us in no doubt that you can train certain competences of hearing with the help of a Tomatis® hearing training. Hardly anyone would doubt that we are in principle able, for. Ex. Learn to play the violin, learn piano or a foreign language. Although all this is basically nothing more than training the ear.

We do not see the question of "ability to concentrate", although not exclusively but in a clear context with the sense of hearing, or even better with the "listening sense". It is the human ear that enables us to do many things.   Mind you: we treat neither diseases nor make diagnoses! The doctors are necessary and responsible for this. 

The Tomatis® method, on the other hand, starts with the things that you can train! The only requirement for successful training is residual hearing, however small it may be.