Developing Auditory Processing Skills using "The Listening Program (tlp)"

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Dr. Chafica Gharbieh The Listening Program “TLP”

Developing Auditory Processing Skills using

"The Listening Program (TLP)"

The Listening Program® “TLP” is a clinically-proven approach that gently trains the auditory system to accurately process sound, using music-based sound stimulation. TLP is designed to enhance and develop listening skills and other abilities. When auditory perception is distorted—whether through illness, injury, developmental or other challenges—auditory processing problems can lead to academic, emotional, cognitive and social challenges. Areas of Reported Improvement include: attention span & focus, speech & motor control, auditory perception & sensitivity, musical & vocal expression, self-esteem, mood & motivation, social interaction, understanding spoken language, reading, spelling & handwriting, and physical balance and coordination. The workshops will explain how TLP helps to stimulate, exercise and train parts of the ear and brain in order to develop a flexible and balanced auditory system.

Sound Therapy

Sound therapy is a science which has evolved over the past fifty years. This therapy is for those with auditory processing problems and is quite distinct from music therapy, or any interventions for hearing problems.

Sound therapy is rooted in the science of neurology, physiology, psychology, acoustics, and music. Sound therapy began with Alfred Tomatis, MD a French ear, nose and throat specialist. After years of research into the function of the ear, and studying the role of the ear in processing sound, its effect on the brain, and neurological system, from the womb into old age, Dr. Tomatis developed a system of auditory training know as the Tomatis Method. There are 200 Tomatis centres throughout the world, where many dyslexic children/adults, other learning disabled children, musicians, singers, and people from all ages have benefited greatly from the sound therapy treatment. However, the time and cost of the Tomatis Method has been prohibitive for many. So from this sound therapy training has evolved the more accessible, The Listening Program.

Personal Experience with The Listening Program

I attended The Listening Program Training Course in November 2001. This course has had a powerful effect on me. I know that I have found a tool that will help my son and others. Three of the TLP creators: Dr. Alex Doman Dr. Ron Minson and Master Richard Lawrence (RIP) conducted the course.

Dr. Alex Doman was one of the originators of “TLP”, he has followed his family footsteps in providing neuro-developmental programs for children, from those severely brain damaged to others whose problems are less overt and yet debilitating on their lives - a prime example being dyslexia. Among the many therapies provided for these children is sound therapy. Dr. Doman has years of experience working with sound therapy programs many of which are rooted in the Tomatis Method. He himself benefited as he had suffered from tinnitus which was cured through Sound Therapy.

Dr. Minson, a practitioner in Psychiatry had a 19 year old dyslexic daughter who benefited from the Tomatis Method to such an extent that her literacy skills improved so much that she changed from being suicidal to becoming a vibrant and employable young woman. Because of this, Dr. Minson studied in France under Tomatis, and has been delivering the Tomatis Method in America for the last ten years. His experience contributed to the development of The Listening Program.

Dr. Doman, together with Dr. Minson and Master Richard Lawrence (RIP) Music Director of the Arcangelos Chamber Ensemble and acoustic engineer produced The Listening Program. The aim of the team has been to bring this powerful therapy within an attainable price range so that many more people can benefit from the therapy. To do this they have pooled their wide expertise, and employed modern acoustic tools to produce The Listening Program.

What is The Listening Program?

The Listening Program® is a Music-Based Auditory Stimulation method that is used to train the auditory skills needed to effectively listen, learn, and communicate.

It consists of an extensive series of high-quality audio CDs that integrate specially produced acoustic music, primarily classical, with innovative sound processing techniques.

The Listening Program benefits people of all ages starting as young as age two. And, is the only Auditory Stimulation method that has a patent pending process of music production and sound engineering.

Advanced Brain Technologies, LLC (ABT) developed The Listening Program building upon key concepts originated by the late Alfred Tomatis, M.D., a pioneer in the field of auditory intervention.c:\users\dr chafica\desktop\tlp\abt - the listening program, overview_files\alfred_tomatis.gif

Who Can Benefit?

Anyone can benefit from improved listening function.

The Listening Program is used by people of all ages, starting as young as age two.

Empirical evidence has demonstrated benefits for;

  • The typically developing child

  • Children with special needs.

  • Individuals experiencing listening, sensory, learning, language, reading, attention, memory, social, communication, and auditory processing difficulties

  • Those interested in improved communication and speaking skills, musical ability, learning potential, and creativity

The Program

A minimum of 50 hours is recommended for initial gains to be achieved with continued listening as goals for listening change, or as needed.

Standard Listening Schedules and Variations of 25 hour cycles encompass daily (5 days per week, 2 days off) listening of 15-30 minutes over the course of (10-20 weeks)

Preparatory listening of 2-10 minutes daily is done with sensitive listeners prior to beginning a Standard Schedule.

There are three standard listening schedules; Extended, Base, and Condensed. Use these standard listening schedules to accommodate the particular needs of the listener.

To realize the maximum benefits from The Listening Program®, it is important to maintain a consistent listening schedule. Past research and clinical experience have demonstrated that the best results are achieved when listeners complete two schedules back to back for a total of 50 hours or two cycles of listening.

When following a listening schedule, progress through the 10 CDs/Programs in the Level One Kit in sequence from numbers 1 through 10. The Level One Kit includes complete listening schedules that outline what CDs/Programs and which modules should be listened to for each listening session. Listening is done in sequence for five (5) days followed by two (2) days off for each week.

When completing the second cycle of listening it is recommended that the listener progress from CDs/Programs 10 through 1, in the reverse order of the first cycle.

Extended Schedule

The Extended schedule is followed by listening to one (1) module each day, five (5) days per week for 20 weeks.

Use each CD/Program for two (2) weeks, and then proceed to the next CD/Program.

Base Schedule

The Base schedule is followed by listening to two (2) modules each day, five (5) days per week for 10 weeks.

A break of 30 minutes or longer should be taken between each module. If you or your listener is following this schedule, consider listening to one module each morning and one each afternoon or evening.

Use each CD/Program for one (1) week, and then proceed to the next CD/Program.

Condensed Schedule

The Condensed schedule is followed by listening to two (2) modules one directly following the other, five (5) days per week for 10 weeks.

Use each CD/Program for one (1) week, and then proceed to the next CD/Program.

Each of the four (4) modules on a TLP CD/Program has the same psychoacoustic modification intensity. To prevent the brain from habituating to the auditory stimulation and to maintain listener interest, the music is varied from one module to the next. Each module is unique based on the many diverse elements within the music itself and on the psychoacoustic modifications.

When a listener proceeds through the listening schedule, note that each CD/Program is listened to for a total of 2 ½ hours. Because the TLP CDs/Programs are just 60 minutes long, this means the listener will repeat each module at least twice. The listener should complete the modules in sequence as they proceed through their schedule starting with the first, followed by the second, third, fourth, and then repeat. When listening to a module that has been experienced before, the listener will discover new elements to the music they weren’t aware of previously. As they build and refine their auditory processing skills, they will be amazed at how many layers of new sound will be revealed.

There is a seamless transition between the phases of each module, as one phase merges into the next. A 30-second period of silence at the end of each “C” phase will alert the listener that the module is complete.

The Level One Kit is completely unique from earlier TLP CDs and totally different than other auditory stimulation methods. As stated earlier the first cycle should be completed following the sequence of the four treatment categories CDs/Programs 1-10. The second cycle should be immediately initiated following a reverse sequence of CDs/Programs 10-1. Then you can fine tune a listening plan emphasizing the TLP treatment categories as needed.

Programs are individualized using the A, B, C design and CDs of varying levels of intensity and purpose as needed.

Programs are self-administered under the monitoring and consultation of a trained Authorized Provider of The Listening Program.

Unique Patent Pending Design

The modular design of each sixty-minute TLP CD includes 4 fifteen-minute segments. There are 3 five-minute tracks per segment. The first track of a segment is "A", the second is "B", and the third is "C".

The A track supports listeners as they gradually adjust to the experience of filtered sound and prepares them to be receptive to the B track, which presents the greatest intensity of filtered sound with audio bursting. The C track helps organize the experience and return listeners to their natural listening environment.

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The Music

Classical, classically inspired, improvised, folk, and children's music produced by ABT Music and performed by the award-winning members of The Arcangelos Chamber Ensemble.

High quality nature sounds are also interwoven into many of the soundscapes.

All music and nature sounds produced for The Listening Program are digitally spectrally analyzed to confirm frequency spectrum.

Specific Frequencies for Specific Functions
The Listening Program combines decades of clinical research in several fields, including neurology, physiology, psychoacoustics, auditory processing, music theory and more. The method builds on the work of respected leaders in these fields, such as ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician Alfred A. Tomatis, M.D. (1920-2001). Among other discoveries, Dr. Tomatis helped identify the relationship between certain sound frequencies and their effect on functions of the mind and body. A simplified explanation of Dr. Tomatis’ findings shows that certain bands, or zones, of sound frequencies affect different abilities:





Zone One
Sensory Integration
(lower frequency sounds)

• Balance
• Rhythm
• Coordination
• Muscle Tone
• Body Awareness

• Sense of Direction
• Laterality
• Right/Left Discrimination





Zone Two
Speech and Language (mid and higher frequency sounds)

• Memory
• Attention

• Speech
• Language
• Vocal Control





Zone Three
High Spectrum
(higher frequency sounds)

• Energy
• Intuition
• Ideas
• Ideals

• Spirituality
• Creativity
• Auditory Cohesion

TLP is designed to address these zones, systematically providing auditory stimulation that, when customized for listeners by TLP Providers, can help improve their ability to function in a number of ways.





Sensory Integration - Targets the first zone (lower frequencies) to stimulate functions such as balance, coordination, motor skills and more.


Full Spectrum - Provides a kind of overall “organizing” experience.


Speech & Language - Emphasizes the mid to higher frequencies to stimulate the brain's abilities for memory, attention, vocal control and more.


High Spectrum - Focuses on the higher frequencies that impact creativity, intuition, energy and more.

What is Needed?

 Certified or Authorized Provider

 TLP Classic Kit or TLP Level One Kit

 TLP Specialized CDs

 TLP-Approved Headphones

 CD Player

Research on TLP

The Listening Program is improving the lives of countless children and adults. Read how positive changes brought about by this Music-Based Auditory Stimulation™ method has positively affected the lives of individuals.

Numerous professional studies and clinical case studies indicate the measurable, life-changing results The Listening Program brings. Independent research studies conducted through universities, schools and learning centres, using various standardized test measures, demonstrate positive outcomes using TLP. For further information: or

The listening sequence is:

  • Full Spectrum-FS (CDs/Programs 1 & 2)

  • Sensory Integration-SI (CDs/Programs 3 & 4)

  • Speech and Language-SL (CDs/Programs 5 & 6)

  • High Spectrum-HS (CDs/Programs 7-10)

Psychoacoustic Modifications

Countless psychoacoustic modifications are used in the production of Level One. When applied to the HD music recordings, these processes enhance and highlight the natural attributes inherent within the musical structure. The purpose is to provide listening training for the ear and brain in order to bring the auditory system into balance.


Psychoacoustics refers to the scientific study of sound perception. Psychoacoustic modifications are incorporated into ABT Music recordings and production processes in order to make the music more effective for the purpose of Music-Based Auditory Stimulation™.

Full Spectrum Music

While our High Definition recordings can capture sounds up to 96 kHz, CDs and iPods can only reproduce sound to approximately 20 kHz as that is believed to be the highest frequency perceived by humans. Sounds above 20 kHz are ultrasonic–above our hearing perception. Sounds below 20 Hz are considered infrasonic–below our hearing perception. When you go to the symphony and listen to an orchestra, you are experiencing a full spectrum of sound. Think of full spectrum as the experience of live, natural sound with nothing taken away.

Over a life span, our ability to perceive the full spectrum of sound gradually diminishes, and the erosion usually starts with the higher frequencies. This brings imbalance and creates distortions in how we process auditory information, which leads to a variety of difficulties. The Listening Program can help stimulate our perception of higher frequencies, and may maintain or even restore this delicate balance. TLP cannot restore actual hearing loss, but it can stimulate our brains to perceive the full range of frequencies and to better discriminate sound.

Full spectrum sound can provide comfort to a listener adjusting to the experience of the psychoacoustic modifications processes contained on TLP Programs. When blended with the unfamiliar sounds created with these processes, full spectrum sound helps a listener stay grounded, with their mind connected with their body, and their body aware of gravity, keeping them in a safe and familiar place. It also provides a valuable sound contrast to allow the psychoacoustic modifications to have greater effect.


Filtration is used on all CDs/Programs in Level One with the exception of the Full Spectrum treatment category. Filtration is a process in which audio filters screen out or remove selected frequencies from full spectrum sound. It is helpful to think of filtration as removing something to become consciously aware of what remains–so attention is drawn to it. Filtration directs attention to the remaining frequencies and allows the listener to perceive and discriminate sounds he or she otherwise may miss or not be aware of, like highlighting a passage of text in a book. But rather than highlighting text, filters allow us to fine-tune the frequency stimulation of the three Tomatis Zones.

Three types of filters allow us to emphasize specific frequency bands in Level One. These are called low-pass, band-pass, and high-pass. Low-pass filters are used for Sensory Integration, band-pass for Speech and Language, and high-pass for High Spectrum.


  • Full Spectrum - Natural unfiltered sound, so that the full spectrum of frequencies is perceived.

  • Low-pass filter (Sensory Integration) - Blocks the higher frequency sounds above the filter so only the remaining lower frequencies are perceived.

  • Band-pass filter (Speech and Language) - Combines a low-pass and high-pass filter so that only the passing band of frequencies between the two is perceived.

  • High-pass filter (High Spectrum) - Blocks the lower frequencies below the filter so only the remaining higher frequencies are perceived.


All the filters used on these CDs/Programs have what is called a frequency roll-off. This keeps some of the frequencies present near the filter in order to maintain a more natural sound. If the frequencies were removed without this roll-off, the resulting sound would be rather sharp and unpleasant.

The experience of filtered music can take a little getting used to; that is one reason Level One Kit includes CDs/Programs with Full Spectrum music. The filtration in Sensory Integration will bring the listener’s awareness to lower frequency sounds such as the bass and cello, creating more body awareness. The filtration in Speech and Language is quite enjoyable and rather natural as it emphasizes the frequencies of spoken language. High Spectrum can take a bit more getting use to as the lower frequencies are removed, bringing the listener’s attention–to more of the harmonics of the violins and flutes.

TLP Level One provides a frequency filtration progression that systematically stimulates and trains the auditory tonotopic map. The tonotopic map is an area in the auditory system in which neighbouring cells are most sensitive to acoustic frequencies adjacent to their own preferred threshold frequencies. We believe by gradually stimulating the auditory neurons (brain cells) with their characteristic frequencies that they will establish or maintain their “best frequency.”

Once these neurons receive sufficient stimulation, they should accurately respond to their best frequencies, which results in the listener’s ability to process sound without distortion. Distortion is when sound is not perceived as it should despite normal hearing. If the sound is not perceived (missed or over-inhibited), meaning that the brain did not process the auditory signals we would term that hypoauditory. When sounds are perceived as uncomfortable or painful (under-inhibited) that would be described as hyperauditory. A person can have hypo and hyper auditory perception simultaneously at different frequencies and intensity levels. One function of The Listening Program is to balance this perception to normal, so that sound is perceived accurately and without stress, which results in an expanded sense of well-being.

Audio Bursting

Audio bursting is a process in which the volume intensity of certain sounds are carefully increased in contrast to the sounds that are not audio bursted.

Audio bursting reflects both the passive/relaxed and active/alert phase for hearing and listening. By switching back and forth between these passive and active states, the varied sonic events increase the listener’s awareness of the event changes. This sets the middle ear into action and helps to attenuate loud sounds to protect the inner ear and to amplify or attune to soft sounds for improved sound discrimination and vocal control. Audio bursting sends bursts of electrochemical messages that stimulate auditory neurons with their characteristic frequencies to help organize the auditory tonotopic map.

Spatial Surround®

Spatial Surround is a patent-pending music recording and production process invented by TLP creators Alexander Doman and Richard Lawrence.

Spatial Surround presents multi-channel sound providing music in five completely independent channels. Generally just one instrument is placed in each channel allowing clear discrimination of each instrumental voice. Strings and woodwinds have never sounded so rich and natural as they do when recorded in High Definition using the Spatial Surround process.

The listener perceives they are in the middle of the Arcangelos Chamber Ensemble. Music surrounds them in a very natural, engaging way from a 360 degree sound field. This is quite different than the experience of stereo with sound only coming from the left and right!

Not unlike the listening experience of an orchestra conductor, Spatial Surround allows the listener to hear the instruments more clearly, with a greater opportunity to identify the essential elements of the music; frequency, volume and timing, in addition to spatial location.

CDs with Spatial Surround have the following symbol.

Spatial Surround® Dynamic

Spatial Surround Dynamic adds movement of the instruments to the process. Using our individual recording tracks, instruments are moved in a 360-degree spatial field. This provides another level of interest to the listening experience, and provides further opportunities to train auditory processing skills. When listening to music with Spatial Surround Dynamic, see how well you or your listener can follow the movement of the instruments. The more you practice, the better you will get, and the better listener you will become.

The dynamics provide stimulation to the vestibular portion of the auditory system that controls balance, posture, rotational, and gravitational movement. Spatial dynamics increase spatial awareness and enhance the listener’s auditory attention as the listener identifies the location of sounds. Improving spatial awareness helps the listener become more oriented to where his or her body is in relation to physical space, and helps a listener become more comfortable and aware of the listener’s surroundings. It further helps synchronize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which improves inter-hemispheric communication and brain integration.

Because some people find the experience of these dynamics a little difficult to listen to at first, the treatment is very gentle in TLP Level One. Level One is designed with graded spatial training so that, within each treatment category, the listener will initially listen in Spatial Surround and then proceed to Spatial Surround Dynamic.

CDs with Spatial Surround Dynamic have the following symbol.

Dolby Headphone®

Dolby Headphone is a technology that allows ABT’s Spatial Surround® technology to be experienced on headphones. It simulates the sounds of surround sound speakers that are clearly outside and away from the listener’s head. The listener perceives they are in a home theatre when in fact they are listening through stereo headphones

ABT offers this technology in partnership with Dolby Laboratories coupled with ABT Spatial Surround technology. Dolby Headphone is encoded on certain TLP CDs/Programs bearing the Dolby Headphone® logo.

Note: Dolby Headphone is not a special pair of headphones, but a technology that ABT encodes in music files for Spatial Surround. CDs with Dolby Headphone technology have the following symbol.

How is it Obtained?

The Listening Program is available exclusively through Authorized Providers Authorized Provider Network: Over 1,300 professionals in 27 countries. A health, therapeutic, educational, or music professional that has been trained in the background and administration of The Listening Program and other programs from Advanced Brain Technologies.

The role of The Listening Program Authorized Provider is to consult, support, and monitor individuals using The Listening Program.

What is an Authorized Provider?

A health, therapeutic, educational, or music professional that has been trained in the background and administration of The Listening Program and other programs from Advanced Brain Technologies.

The role of The Listening Program Authorized Provider is to consult, support, and monitor individuals using The Listening Program.

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