The Effect of the Tomatis Method on the Psychological Well-Being and Piano Performance of Student Pianists

An Exploratory Study

Since features inherent in student pianists' training may contribute to psychological vulnerability, especially regarding self-concept and anxiety, these student pianists may benefit from interventions that could elevate their level of psychological well-being. Clinical observations, research and Tomatis' theories indicate that the Tomatis Method of sound stimulation and guidance can enhance psychological well-being, academic functioning, and possibly music performance through improving self-listening skills. Apart from a single case study by Madaule in 1976, the paucity of further evidence regarding its benefit for student pianists has prompted this exploratory study. A two-group pre-post assessment, mixed-method design was used. It involved thirteen sophomore-to-postgraduate student pianists, their piano lecturers, and other lecturers, from the School of Music and Conservatory, at North-West University's Potchefstroom Campus. Quantative and qualitative data were obtained at three time points. Qualitative results suggest that the Tomatis Method enhanced psychological well-being, particularly regarding autonomy, interpersonal relationships, and self-confidence in experimental group participants. Quantitative and qualitative findings strongly suggest that participants benefitted primarily regarding piano performance, through listening skill enhancement and statistically significant music performance anxiety reduction. Practically no change occurred among the non-intervention control group. Further research regarding these aspects remains a prerequisite for attaining definitive outcomes.

Journal South African Music Studies
Year 2010
Volume 30-31
Pages np

Taljaard, Hannes; du Plessis, Wynand; Vercueil, Ansie (2010) The Effect of the Tomatis Method on the Psychological Well-Being and Piano Performance of Student Pianists: An Exploratory Study. In: South African Music Studies, Vol. 30-31, pp. np. Available at


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