ABOUT US

 

The name HeartTones came about after learning that the heart broadcasts 5000 times more electromagnetic energy than the brain. Our state of mind is born in the heart and transmitted to the brain. Years of exploration in the fields of Music Therapy, Performance and Motivational Programs for vulnerable youth gave us a glimpse into the healing power of musical improvisation, the core of our search for effective therapeutic techniques. It was this exhaustive search that led us to embrace the ultimate form of therapy; Sound. Scientific evidence has branded this developing field as one of the most promising branches of alternative medicine. Historically, every culture created its own particular musical expression and for thousands of years, communities on all continents turned to sound for spiritual/healing ceremonies. This proves that we are naturally wired to resonate with the healing code embedded in nature's Sound frequencies. Our challenge, as practitioners, is to discover the most effective ways to unleash its secrets. 

 

Sound Therapy uses the voice combined with carefully chosen instruments to reproduce natural scales and overtones. Deep listening under the guidance of the Sound Practitioner becomes a powerful tool for meditation and mindfulness. What is mindfulness? It's becoming acutely aware of whatever is happening in and around us without judgment. No group or individual is exactly the same and neither do we all internalize Sound the same way. The different Sound textures of the singing bowls, chimes, tuning forks, gongs, drums, rattles and the voice outside of specific harmonic progressions, allow us to bath in the vibrations without engaging our mind. The vibrations can calibrate our nervous system and dissolve blockages caused by stress, fear or sadness. The practice is gentle and non-invasive and yet strong and effective. And above all, it is not the Sound itself nor the Sound Instructor that heals, but the receiver that heals himself by allowing the sounds to penetrate his heart, mind, and body. We invite you to explore our programs and join us on this fascinating Sound journey.

                                                                       OUR TEAM
Alice Dow
Founder and Program Coordinator

Cat Toren

Sound Practitioner and Program Designer

Idy Martin Sanchez

Sound Practitioner and Logistics Coordinator

 

As a very young child, Alice demonstrated the ability to learn complex melodies by ear. Her parents, who were both startled and amazed, acquired a piano teacher from the Julliard School of Music when she was 4. During her childhood/youth, she played cello, guitar, harp, sang in choirs and studied classical piano for 12 years. The rich musical climate in southern New York State during those years exposed her to an innovative community of composers where her musical instincts flourished. When she was 17, she chose the flute and began to sing, in public, while traveling around the world. She dedicated many years to serving vulnerable communities in Europe, Argentina, and Colombia with an interdenominational faith-driven community. Throughout those years, she practiced a form of Music Therapy for traumatized youth. She also performed publicly and helped to arrange unedited compositions written by her Argentinian husband. Her foundation, Healing Colombia, has served 3000 vulnerable youth and distributed $3.000.000 worth of humanitarian aid to displaced families in Colombia, SA.

 

Convinced that successful language learning comes from direct interaction and listening rather than book-learning, she created a method for teaching English as a Second Language that relies strongly on using the ears, positioning the tongue and lips, and music. Her language academy, English Voices International, is still active in Bogota, Colombia.

 

In New York, Alice has been able to pursue her dreams by continuing her musical education at the Integrative Institute of Sound and Music - Open Center Manhattan, NY, where she graduated as a Sound Practitioner, and the Performance Wellness Program where she studied under the late Louise Montello, Founder of PW at the New School, Manhattan. Sound and Music Therapy have enriched the workshops Alice designed for drug and crime prevention, gender reconciliation, motivational and self-empowerment for youth, and mindfulness for all ages. She has two adult children and four wonderful granddaughters from Colombia.

 

Cat Toren has a passion for everything sound! She is an award-winning pianist, composer, improviser, teacher and sound practitioner. She holds a Masters of Music in composition from the State University of New York and  a certificate in Sound Healing from the Sage Academy of Sound Energy. Her music is described as “vibrant, earthy and spiritual” (UK Vibe), and noted for using “bold atmospheric abstraction and fluid melodies to mix deep human warmth with creative fire” (Coastal Jazz and Blues). 

 

Cat’s latest record release, Cat Toren’s HUMAN KIND, features music stemming from the spiritual jazz tradition with the intention of bringing awareness to the current civil rights movement and promoting empathy and openness. It has sold copies worldwide, receiving critically acclaimed reviews. It is described as a “powerful recording” on The Best New Jazz on Bandcamp. The International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation asked Cat to be an artist speaker at the University of British Columbia Colloquium 2017. Her lecture, “Cat Toren’s HUMAN KIND: Music for Empathic Activism” was also published in the online creative arts journal “Nothing to Say”. 

 

Cat’s compositions have been in short films, on television and premiered in various live settings. She has composed for ensembles such as New York’s Cassatt Quartet and the Canadian new music ensemble Orkestra Futura. Cat belongs to the New York City Emerging Composer’s Collective (NYCECC). Accolades include a JUNO Award for Best Instrumental Album of the Year 2013 and a Western Canadian Music Award 2016 with the co-led ensemble Pugs and Crows.

 

During her free time Cat enjoys running in Prospect Park, rock climbing with her husband and relaxing with her cats. 

 

Idy Martin was born on the Pacific Coast of Colombia, South America, in a jungle region called Choco that was originally populated by marooned slaves and indigenous tribes. His cultural inheritance goes directly back to Africa. Because these proud people had to survive without the help of the white man, their resilience and survival instincts blossomed. During his childhood, he participated in musical gatherings where rhythm and harmonies characteristic of the ancestors were part of everyday life. Swimming in the unpredictable waters of the abundant river networks, fishing, climbing trees and running races made him into a dexterous and skillful sportsman. At an early age, he was discovered by basketball talent-seekers and trained to reach the highest level of Colombian professional basketball.

 

He holds a title in Physical Education and Sports applied to Medicine, a scientific technique in humanistic, social and investigative matters within the field of Physical Education. His interests include psychological aspects that promote the development of team-work in any field, inner healing, integral health, well-being, nutrition, time-management and sports for quality of life. He directed the Sports and Recreation Department for 30 government centers attending kids coming off the streets in Bogota, Colombia, and designed the first sports championship to include this sector. He volunteered with the Healing Colombia Foundation Music Therapy and Sports Program for Vulnerable Youth. Currently, he is an Entrepreneur, Investor and Owner of the GVSolutions Interpreting and Translating Agency in Colombia, and USA. During his years managing sound equipment, the installment of sound-proof booths for conference interpreting and logistics, he learned the importance of calibrating sound for professional purposes.

 

His ongoing interest in percussion and music have accompanied him throughout his professional and private life. When he became aware of Sound Healing, it was a natural step towards a new horizon where he immediately felt that all of his previous experience working with people, training teams, leading groups, imparting values and managing sound, could be expressed through Sound Therapy.

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