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Improve the Voice by Using the Ear and the Brain

Presented at the 4rth Advanced Voice Function Workshop

York, England 5/12/10

Client History: VS1 was diagnosed with bilateral thyroid nodules at age 48. The nodules were growing rapidly. The left nodule was greater than the right. Her vocal cords continued to be mobile. Treatmentwas a total thyroidectomy. VS1 also had a history of chronic sinusitis. Although not related to the surgery, she reports physical and emotional abuse fromher mother since childhood.

Post surgery, a vocal cord injury was noted. The nodules had been pulled off two nerves during surgery. The surgeon reported that the left vocal cord was clear and mobile and the left nerve was functioning well. Additionally the surgeon reported that the right nerve was not severed duringsurgery but was not supporting as much mobility as the left cord. Trauma to the recurrent laryngeal nerve was noted. One month post surgery, the right cord was noted as paralytic, but at four months post surgery, the right cord was moving without paralysis. The patient however, reported that her voice was fatiguing easily and would get soft after talking for awhile. Her voice quality was often so soft that it was difficult to hear her speak. Her voice often sounded ‘hoarse’.Many w/r substitutions were noted. She sounded like a little child learning tospeak and her speech patterns were not rhythmical.

At her 6 month post surgery visit, her ENT suggestedthat she had dysarthria with an inability to be heard and understood. Her speechpattern was halting. Eventually her voice slightly improved but herarticulation did not. She continued to have hoarseness, vocal fatigue, and volume disturbances. The ENT’sreport suggested a reduced

diadochokinesis and loss of articulation of theplosives as well as consonants. She had difficulty transitioning from consonants to sustainedvowels. Tongue motion was limited. Vocal fold motion showed a slight, subtleright paresis. The physician’s impressions suggested that VS1 appeared to havesuffered dysarthria and dysphonia with subtle findings of palatal incompetenceas well as laryngeal tongue involvement. A central neurological disorder andnot a peripheral laryngeal nerve disorder was suggested.

Subsequent MRI testing was normal. She was told that there was nothing else that could be done for her.


Seven months after surgery VS1 felt that she had made no significant change since the surgery.She was referred to The Davis Center which utilizes The Davis Model of Sound

Intervention.This model incorporates a foundational premise that there is a connection betweenthe voice, the ear and the brain as demonstrated by 5 laws: three within The

TomatisEffect which proposes that the voice produces what the ear hears, and two within TheDavis Addendum to The Tomatis Effect which proposes that the ear emits the same

stressedfrequencies as the voice. For all 5 laws, when the correcting frequencies are providedto the ear, the brain supports the change and the voice regains coherence.

VS1was administered the initial Diagnostic Evaluation for Therapy Protocol (DETP®)i whichdetermines if, when, how long, and in what order any or all of the manydifferent

sound-basedtherapies can be appropriately applied to make supportive change. A soundbased therapyuses the vibrational energy of sound with special equipment, specific

programs,modified music and/or specific tones/beats, the need for which is identified withappropriate testing.


WithinThe Davis Modelof Sound Intervention, The Tree of Sound Enhancement

Therapy®iii is used to provide a developmental flow chart for thecorrect administration

ofany sound-based therapy as identified from the DETP. The tests includedetermining

one’ssense of hearing, sound processing skills, auditory processing skills,otoacoustic

emissions,and a measurement of the person’s vocal frequencies. The interpretation of

thetest results determines the protocol of therapies for balancing the connectionbetween

thevoice, the ear, and the brain.



VS1’sDETP results identified irregularities in how she used and processed soundwithin

herconnection between the voice, the ear, and the brain. Three different hypersensitivitiesto sound were identified. Sound processing issues impacting

vestibular,language, and attention/focus skills and bone conduction vibration responses

werealso identified. She was unable to identify pitch differences betweenfrequencies on

thespectrum. Vocal analysis identified many frequency specific irregular patterns.The

testresults demonstrated that sound-based therapies could make foundational changein

herability to use her voice.


Threetherapies were identified that would support her towards change in her voiceskills:

AuditoryIntegration Training, BioAcoustics™, and a Listening Training Program.

1. Auditory Integration Training (AIT) repatterns theacoustic reflex muscle in

the middle ear so that sound is better received in thecochlea, vestibule and semi-circular canals of the ear. The issues addressedwith this program are related to The Root level of The Tree of SoundEnhancement Therapy.iv Although there aremany AIT programs, VS1 specifically used Berard Auditory Integration Training.

2. BioAcoustics addresses the specific wellnesschallenges associated with her

vocal irregularities, not only as a result of thesurgery but her wellness in general. This science introduces the patterns ofthe Frequency Equivalents™ of the body’s irregular vibrations identifiedthrough vocal analysis in order for the body to stabilize itself. The issuesaddressed with this program are related to The Surrounding Head of The Tree of SoundEnhancement Therapy.v

3. A Listening Training Program (LTP) enhances how thebody processes sound

with both air and bone conduction vibrational inputwhile stabilizing how the ear

supports vocal production. The issues addressed withthis program are related to The Trunk level of The Tree of Sound The programs offered at this levelare modeled after the work of Dr. Alfred Tomatis. The specific LTP used by VS1 wasThe Tomatis® Method.



VS1started her protocol by using AIT first and immediately following that with

BioAcoustics.The following changes were noted after AIT:

1. Her articulation skills improved

2. Her voice quality improved

3. Others understood her speech more easily

4. She could converse with others without tiring

5. Speech was easier to produce

6. She noticed she was less shy

7. Allergic reactions decreased

8. She could listen to music at a higher volume anddid not need ear plugs.


AfterBioAcoustics, the following was noted:

1. The muscles of the tongue were identified as weakfrom the voiceprint. The

Frequency Equivalents of the nutrients supporting thefunctioning of the tongue muscle and the tongue muscle itself were identifiedand presented as tones for VS1 to listen to. As a result articulation of speechsounds was clearer. An immediate change was clearer production of the /r/ and/l/ sounds. Tongue motion increased. She was better able to transition between consonantsto vowels.

2. The orbicularis oris muscle of the mouth wasstimulated because it showed

up as a ‘weak’ muscle. The result was better supportfor articulation.

3. Leukotrienes, associated with her allergies, werehigh and out of balance on

the voiceprint. They were decreased as a result of thetones presented. The

result was that her allergic responses were fewer.


AfterAIT, and while she continued BioAcoustics, she started The Tomatis Method. Her

changeswere as follows:

1. She was able to hear her own voice better

2. She had fewer problems communicating her thoughts

3. Her voice was noticeably stronger

4. Her vocal range increased

5. She grasped new concepts more quickly

6. Her articulation was clearer.


Atthe end of the three basic therapies, her family and friends were able toconverse with

heragain and understand her. The basic therapy protocol was accomplished within a threemonth period. She repeated both BioAcoustics and the Tomatis Method for

maintenancesessions to ensure that her changes are maintained and enhanced. On her lastvisit, her articulation was precise and clearly understood. Her voice continuesto be slightly breathy. She felt a release of her early emotional trauma. Sherestarted playing her violin, started to paint more, and reports that she is ahappier person.



VS1made noticeable change in her vocal skills once the connection between hervoice,

ear,and brain was stabilized and enhanced. The Davis Model of Sound Interventionwas

utilizedin order to determine if and how sound-based therapies could be used to make

change.Three sound-based therapies were identified and implemented: AIT, BioAcoustics,and a Listening Training Program. After 6 months of using the therapies,

VS1’svocal quality and stamina improved, her articulation was clearer, her tongue

muscleregained supportive movement, her breath control improved, and her overall

voiceproduction improved. She reported that she was an even happier person thatbefore

hersurgical trauma. The outcome of VS1’s positive changes opens the door for the

possibilityof using an alternative approach that stabilizes the connections between the

voice,the ear, and the brain for other difficult voice cases.



ii Davis D.S. How sound-based therapy can help the Isodicentric 15 Individuals. Schaumberg, IL:

Isodicentric 15 and other Chromosomal Imbalances Conference. June 24, 2005.


iv 4/20/10






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