Integrated Listening Systems (ILS)

Grant Date
Grant Applicant
Julie Tidd, Speech Language Patholgist
Grant Category
Amount Funded
Description (10 points)

Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) is a multi-sensory, therapeutic listening program for improving brain and body functions. It includes two main components, the Focus Series and the Voice Pro System. The Focus Series includes headphones that connect to an iPod and a mini amplifier. The iPod is downloaded with five different programs, containing hours of classical music that has been specifically designed and altered. Throughout each listening program, certain low frequencies (low tones) are very gradually filtered out, in order to emphasize the higher frequency sounds (higher pitches). This type of sound filtering has been scientifically proven to stimulate various neurological connections in the brain. The headphones are specially designed to project music through air conduction (through the ear canal),  and through bone conduction (sound vibrations through the skull). This multi-sensory auditory input stimulates the Auditory nerve, the Vestibular system (balance and body awareness) and Vagus Nerve (arousal and calmness). The Voice Pro System works with the Focus iPod music, but it's headphones include microphones. The microphones amplify and emphasis the voices and speech sounds of the teacher and student, while the student passively listens to the Focus music. The Voice Pro System is used when the student's goal is to improve various language skills, phonemic awareness and reading skills. The five listening programs include the following:

1. Sensory and Motor Program

2. Concentration and Attention Program

3. Reading and Auditory Processing Program

4. Optimal Performance I & II Programs

5. Calming Program

A program is chosen for a students based on their individual special needs. While the student listens passively to the filtered music, they participate in a variety of multi-sensory activities, including physical movements, cognitive "brain games", language activities, phonemic awareness exercises, and specialized academic lessons. 

Benefits of Program (10 points)

The Integrated Listening System (ILS) is based on the fact that our brains can change. We can, basically, re-wire our brains through specific and repeated stimulation. This is known as neuroplasticity. Scientific studies have demonstrated that therapeutic listening systems, such as ILS, can benefit children, teenagers and adults with developmental delays, autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorders, specific learning disabilities, auditory processing and memory disabilities, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and stroke, and anxiety.

Success of Program (10 points)

The use of music and sound for therapeutic purposes, has been studied since the early 1900's. In the mid-1900's, Dr. Alfred Tomatis' research resulted in a listening program  that successfully addressed targeted symptoms and behaviors. His research and data opened the door to a myriad of studies that have lead to the therapeutic listening systems that are used today in clinics, homes and schools. The development of the ILS program is based on over two decades of experience with thousands of children, teenagers and adults. One recent controlled-study, by Anne Calhoon, Ph.D., at the University of New Mexico, involved 64 students, grades K-2nd. These "at-risk" students participated in a 3 month program combining ILS and art therapy. The average improvements in reading was a two year growth. This improvement in reading skills was significantly greater than the improvements of the control group. Jeannie Dubitsky, Ed.D, from UC Davis, Ca., did a study involving 10 students who participated in the ILS programs, over one school year. The pre and post test scores showed statistically significant improvements in all areas that were assessed. This included student improvements in eye-hand coordination, in balance, in listening skills, and in reading decoding,  fluency and comprehension. There have been numerous studies over recent years that support the positive efficacy of ILS and other therapeutic listening systems. To learn about other studies, please go to:, or Google "therapeutic listening research".

*A current TTUSD Speech Language Pathologist, learned about and implemented therapeutic listening systems for many years in a previous job. Due to the success she observed over years of using these programs, she told our Special Education Department about ILS. Two ILS systems were purchased, which she has used with a variety of students over the past couple of years. She has reported that significant functional improvements have been observed in each student.

*The name of the SLP and her students is not disclosed due to confidentiality protocol.

Implementation (10 points)

The ILS program (with the Focus Series and Voice Pro System) would be utilized in both the Speech/Language and Resource Programs at Kings Beach Elementary. Each student would participate in pre-assessments to establish base-line data. The appropriate ILS program would be chosen to address each student's specific learning, language and/or behavioral needs, and they would use the ILS equipment each time they come to the Learning Center. On average, each  student would listen to approximately 30-45 minutes of the music a day, 3-4 days a week, during speech-language therapy and specialized academic instruction. We, the SLP and Resource teacher, would document student progress on a shared log form to assure that use of each student's program is seamless. Post assessments would be administered at appropriate times to determine the amount of progress each student is making.

This is a one-time purchase of a system that can be used and implemented for years to come, at any school site. No additional funding would be needed in future years.
Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

Yes, this grant would be shared within the Learning Center by, Dubravka, Resource teacher and Julie, Speech Language Pathologist. It would serve students in grades TK-4th grade at Kings Beach Elementary, who have an identified learning and/or language disability.

Budget (10 points)
Budget Item(s)
$1420 - iLs Voice Pro
Amount Requested
Budget Notes

No tax required for purchase. 

Other funding sources

The TTUSD Special Education Department purchased two ILS systems a few years ago, that have been used by one Speech Pathologist in the district. In addition, the Special Education Department paid for Julie's ILS training this summer, and she has borrowed one of the two Focus Series systems to practice implementation of the program. After training and research, we, (Julie and Dubravka) have recognized the value that the Integrated Listening System can provide for our students with special needs. Our principal, Kyle Mohagan, has listened to our explanation of the ILS program, and has enthusiastically agreed about its benefits; but, he has also confirmed that its purchase is not feasible in our current school budget.


We are hoping to be able to implement the ILS therapeutic listening programs with many of our  students who have been assessed as having specific learning disabilities and language impairments. The two systems that the Special Education Dept. purchased are needed with students in Truckee, where the other trained SLP works. We believe that additional ILS systems at Kings Beach Elementary would benefit multiple students, and help them experience greater academic success - and, consequently, improved social-emotional success - throughout their school years.