n South African Journal of Psychology - Multimodal enhancement of culturally diverse, young adult musicians : a pilot study involving the Tomatis method

Volume 31, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0081-2463
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Musicians, seeking stress relief and vocal / instrumental enhancement, often turn to the Tomatis Method of sensori-neural integration training, based on the interdependence and interaction between hearing and listening, psychological attitude and speech and language. The paucity of impact studies on musicians, despite its acclaimed efficacy, has prompted the current multidisciplinary pilot study, involving a two group, pre-post experimental design. Listening aptitude, psychological well-being and vocal (voice) quality were assessed in availability samples of culturally diverse young, adult musicians (n=28), recruited from two tertiary institutions and assigned to a control group (n=10) and an experimental group, consisting of sub-experimental group one (n=10) and sub-experimental group two (n=8). Reasonable preprogramme group equivalence was established between the two sub-experimental groups and the control group. A Tomatis programme of 87.5 half hour listening sessions and concomitant counseling was completed by the total experimental group (n=18). Results indicated practically significant enhancement of : (i) listening aptitude on the Listening Test and (ii) psychological wellbeing, in terms of reduced negative and increased positive mood state (vigor) on the POMS in both sub-experimental groups, together with enhanced behavioural and emotional coping in sub-experimental group 1 on the CTI. (iii) Vocal enhancement, perceived both by singer-participants in both sub-experimental groups and a professional voice teacher, culminated in (iv) distinctly enhanced musical proficiency in 28% of all programme participants. Despite indications of multimodal enhancement, further research, necessitated by current methodological limitations, remains a prerequisite for achievement of definitive results.

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