Our Staff

Aimee Fields

Assistant School Director and Music Education Specialist

Aimee was born and raised in Oakland through a family of musicians and artists. At the age of four she decided that in addition to singing, she was going to play the saxophone one day. At 9 years old she learned to play the saxophone and by 11 she was learning to play drums. By the time she reached middle school she was teaching a beginning African drumming and dance class with African-Roots of Jazz Performing Arts Academy and working as a teaching assistant for the beginning orchestra class at her school. Once she reached high school she was playing sax and drums in the Skyline High School Marching Band, and the Laney College Stage band. By sophomore year she was the drum-major of the marching band, Performing Arts Department mentor and a drummer and saxophone player in the award-winning Skyline Jazz Band. Along the way she also learned to play the flute, other percussion instruments, and the ukulele, which she also teaches at Starland.

Aimee recently graduated from UC Berkeley with her Bachelor’s in American Studies. Her main passion in music is encouraging young and returning musicians to enjoy playing and learning and teaching about the effects music can have on cognitive development and behavior. She is a firm believer that it is never to late to learn. She has been working at Starland since 2012 and is excited to help get you started with your musical experience!

1.Alive or Dead, What Musician would you do anything to see perform/meet?
Hard Question! I love the Jazz greats so I’d see Nina Simone, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Sara Vaughn, John Coltrane and Elvin Jones. I also love all Motown era music so I’d love to meet Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and Stevie Wonder to name just a few!

2. Greatest Musical Influence?
Percussion-wise, I’d say Elvin Jones, Terri Lyn Carrington, or Sheila E. Vocally, I’d say Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Beyonce, Sara Vaughn, Gladys Knight, and some other Gospel/Soul singers. For Saxophone I’d say John Coltrane or Charlie Parker. They all always have something awesome to say through their music. And for Uke, of course Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Somewhere Over the Rainbow)!

3. Any hidden talents besides music?
I can (and love) to DANCE! In my spare time I am an apprentice dancer in Diamano Coura West African Dance Company. I also have my own baking business making all kinds of yummy and pretty treats! I also love arts and crafts, and I can speak French! Also I’m very talented at guessing the ages of babies…?

4. What did you want to be while you were growing up?
Originally I wanted to be a professional Cheerleader. Then Doctor, then teacher, then film director, then music therapist, then a teacher again!

5. If you could have any ‘Super Power’, which one would it be?
Ability to acquire all known and unknown knowledge. Then I could figure out how to create the rest of the super powers and become a Mega Human with all the powers ever known and unknown to human kind!…of course

6. If you could master any other instrument which would it be?
Bass and Piano. I’m getting there! I have a bit of the basics down on both but I’m ready to dive in! Aside from those, I would LOVE to learn to play the cello. Such a beautiful, warm sound!

7. Have you had what people would consider your “15 Minutes of Fame”, and if so when/what was that?
For 3 years I was the drum-major of the only marching band in Oakland, Skyline High School as well as a player in our regionally recognized Jazz Band. I also had a small band that would play at a few local cafes. Lastly, I played in and co-taught African Roots of Jazz Youth Drummers; my best friend and I would get to sing, dance, and drum every weekend on stages all over the Bay Area. As of now, I perform twice a year with my West African Dance Company and sometimes perform on Monday nights at Fireside Lounge here in Alameda. Then of course I also perform at the Starland Annual All-School Recital every year! (In the 2016 Recital I performed a total of 32 times!)

8. It’s your last meal: What would it be?
A LOT. Including but not limited to a little Italian, French, Mexican, Thai, and Soul foods. All of my favorite dishes from each PLUS as much ice cream as I could handle. And Chocolate. A LOT of chocolate.

9. You’re sent to a deserted island, and you only have one album to listen to: Which is it?
Can it be a mixed CD I made? 😉 If not, then Love Supreme by John Coltrane. Every time I hear it I hear something new! Or maybe a Stevie Wonder album! I seem to never get tired of his music. Although I must admit Jay-Z’s 4:44 album is pretty amazing…But so is Earth Wind and Fire: Greatest Hits.

Holly Scheld

Music Education Specialist and Music Retail Sales Expert

Holly is a Bay Area native who’s been involved in music her whole life. Her first musical performance was in Kindergarten when she sang the “Star Spangled Banner”, and she’s been singing ever since. She soon after joined several Bay Area choirs including the Redwood Christian Choir, and Cantare con Vivo.
In middle school she started learning guitar from her choir teacher and fell in love again. Holly is currently studying music at Laney College in Oakland, and plays guitar and sings in a number of combos around the area. She is currently working on recording with her own band, Honey Orbison.

Holly’s favorite thing about music is that listening and playing eases problems, and has given her direction in life, and constantly inspires her. Her ultimate goal is to own and operate a destination recording studio in the Pacific Northwest.

In her spare time she loves to do photography, play music, sew, cook, and spend time with her puppy! She has been working at Starland since 2016 and is excited to help get you started with your musical experience!

1.Alive or Dead, What Musician would you do anything to see perform/meet?
Alive: Carole King!
Dead: Nina Simone!!
Women that make me sing!

2. Greatest Musical Influence?
I am influenced by a wide range of music, lately by ambient and instrumental music. I try to be open to different styles of music. There’s an endless amount of new and old music out there that I have yet to hear.

3. Any hidden talents besides music?
I shoot film photography! I shoot primarily 35mm film but I also dabble in medium format, and develop my own film. I shoot a lot of landscapes, portraits and have recently been experimenting with double/multiple exposures.

4. What did you want to be while you were growing up?
I wanted to be a vet, a nurse, a teacher, a movie star and a mommy, all at once!

5. If you could have any ‘Super Power’, which one would it be?
I have definitely weighed the options and I would choose the power of shape-shifting like a changeling.

6. If you could master any other instrument which would it be?
I would want to master the piano. I have played a bit here and there for a while now but I think I could really dedicate myself and improve my skill set.

7. Have you had what people would consider your “15 Minutes of Fame”, and if so when/what was that?
Definitely not. I only hope to be respected for my achievements. Although I enjoy performing for others, being in the spotlight off the stage does not seem very appealing to me.

8. It’s your last meal: What would it be?
Seafood buffet, for sure. With some Loard’s ice cream 🙂

9. You’re sent to a deserted island, and you only have one album to listen to: Which is it?
Oh my..a difficult situation. Close to the Edge by YES. Their songs are like fairy tales lyrically and they are a really talented group of musicians. Always hear something new when I listen to it.

Monika Brien

Music Education Specialist and Music Retail Sales Expert

Monika has spent the better part of her life in Alameda.  She attended Alameda public schools, and has participated in Alameda Children’s Musical Theater and performed worldwide with the Piedmont Children’s Choirs.  Monika first took violin lessons at the age of 5 and fell in love with Celtic Fiddle music.  As a teen she learned to play a little guitar and piano by watching her mom and brother respectively.  As an adult Monika took bass guitar lessons here at Starland School of Music!
Monika is particulary fond of Disney musicals and Children’s music. She is truly a performer at heart.  She feels at ease performing any song at a moment’s notice.  Monika’s ultimate goal is to do voice over work or create music for cartoons.
Outside of music, Monika loves to read, garden, and watch cartoons with her son.  She has been with Starland Since December 2016.

1.Alive or Dead, What Musician would you do anything to see perform/meet?
I wish I could go to the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.  I would love to see Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Rolling Stones.

2. Greatest Musical Influence?
I would have to say Disney music. Soundtracks like “Hercules”, “Aladdin”, and more recently “Moana”

3. Any hidden talents besides music?
I can recite most Disney Movies beginning to end and I can read your mind!

4. What did you want to be while you were growing up?
A singer mostly, but also an herbalist and a botanist.

5. If you could have any ‘Super Power’, which one would it be?
The power of flight because then I could sneak into Disneyland… although I probably never would because I am too scared of getting banned!

6. If you could master any other instrument which would it be?
Piano and Clarinet

7. Have you had what people would consider your “15 Minutes of Fame”, and if so when/what was that?
I sang the Star Spangled Banner at an A’s game when I was 11. I was also on a local TV station for my involvement in The Lego League.

8. It’s your last meal: What would it be?
Egg Friend Rice, Hot Cheetos, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

9. You’re sent to a deserted island, and you only have one album to listen to: Which is it?
The “Moana” Soundtrack, perfect for living on an island.

10. If you could leave one lesson with Starland students what would it be?
Friendship is Magic!

Felix Lee

Music Education Specialist and Music Retail Sales Expert

Felix Lee hails from the East Coast/Mid West but has been living in the Bay for 10 years. He comes from a very musical family and has been playing music most of his life. An aspiring multi-instrumentalist, he played trumpet in elementary school and currently studies guitar, piano, bass, native flute and plans to learn many more!

His musical style is an eclectic mix of genres pulling from funk, soul, rock/blues, lounge, electronic music and more. You can find him performing original songs all over the Bay Area. Felix also passionately believes in the healing powers of music. He earned a certificate in Sound, Voice, and Music Healing in 2015 from the California Institute of Integral Studies in SF and composes music specially for his fledgling sound healing practice. If you’re feeling curious you can check him out online at soundcloud.com/felix-lee-4.

He’s been working at Starland since February of 2017 and is excited to get you started on your musical journey!

 

1.Alive or Dead, What Musician would you do anything to see perform/meet?

I’d love to meet Prince and Jimi Hendrix, and going even further back I’d love to meet the ancient shamans of various cultures who used music in rituals to access other planes of consciousness.

2. Greatest Musical Influence?

Tough question here! I feel like my tastes and influences are all over the place and it’s hard to pinpoint one artist or genre but I’ll give it a try…I think that if you listen to my original compositions you’ll discern influences from artists such as Radiohead, Bonobo, Sade, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Little Dragon.

3. Any hidden talents besides music?

I have a knack for learning languages; I can speak and read some Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, and Arabic. I’m also a pretty good cook-some of my specialties are breakfast in general (flapjacks, french toast, breakfast sandwiches, ect.), soups and stews, curries, french fries, and coffee!

4. What did you want to be while you were growing up?

I wanted/still want to be and do so many things, here’s a few: Paleontologist, Astronaut, Mad scientist, pro skateboarder, Trucker, Inventor, Music Therapist

5. If you could have any ‘Super Power’, which one would it be?

I’d have to go with the ability to teleport myself to anywhere. Second choice would be the ability to shapeshift!

6. If you could master any other instrument which would it be?

Ooh, I would love to learn how to play the Theremin. It was invented in the early 1900s and was one of the first ever electric instruments to be created.

7. Have you had what people would consider your “15 Minutes of Fame”, and if so when/what was that?

Hm, interesting question…well I’d like to think there’s the potential for more than one moment of fame in one’s lifetime. That said, I’m still developing my craft but I have been recognized for both my skills as a musician and as an actor in short films here and there.

8. It’s your last meal: What would it be?

Piles of cajun steamed crab and lobster served with a gallon of garlic butter and lemon for dipping!!!

9. You’re sent to a deserted island, and you only have one album to listen to: Which is it?

Okay, so assuming that I’m not going to perish on the aforementioned island, I’d take a compilation of my own unfinished songs to work on. I mean, who knows what kinds of inspiration deserted-island-life would present and once rescued, I could share those songs–inspired by the spirit of survival–with the world.

 

10. If you could leave one lesson with Starland students what would it be?

Throw out that old adage “Practice makes perfect” and replace it with “Practice makes progress”…Absolute perfection just doesn’t exist, I’ve put myself through enough stress and frustration to know better now! So instead I aim to be diligent and disciplined in my music practice while also being gentle and patient with myself and I definitely encourage you to do the same!

 

Stefan Warmuth

Music Education Specialist and Music Retail Sales Expert

Stefan is from down south in Santa Cruz, C.A. and only recently moved into the area. He started playing recorder In grade school and kept with it. Everyone else in his class threw the instrument away but he practiced all summer and was soon taking private lessons. He fell in love with celtic music at age 8 and has been focusing on the genre ever since. Recorder is still his best instrument, but at a celtic music camp he fell in love with bagpipes. He has been back every year since playing highland pipes. He focused on technique with his teacher David Brewer and soon was competing with the Monterey Pipe Band. In high school he played with the Santa Cruz Pipes and Drums and the SCHS Marching Band. Moving forward, He was one of the founding members of the Ninja Pipers and ordered a set of Uilleann pipes.
His love of music brought him to dance. The dancing community in Santa Cruz is small so his dance teaching brought him to Oakland and to Starland. Now that his new pipes have arrived he is working on singing and bagpipe accompaniment. Stefan brings with him these 18 years of musical training and the musical experience that come with it. He has been working at Starland since 2015 and is excited to help get you started with your musical experience!

1.Alive or Dead, What Musician would you do anything to see perform/meet?
Turlough O’Carolan the last great blind harper of Ireland.

2. Greatest Musical Influence?
David Brewer From the band Molly’s Revenge.

3. Any hidden talents besides music?
I teach partner dancing.

4. What did you want to be while you were growing up?
I wanted to drive the big red truck and be a fireman.

5. If you could have any ‘Super Power’, which one would it be?
Ability to speed up and slow time. Time travel is far too dangerous with potential paradoxes.

6. If you could master any other instrument which would it be?
I kinda have my heart set on cello next.

7. Have you had what people would consider your “15 Minutes of Fame”, and if so when/what was that?
Bagpiping with the Santa Cruz Ninja Pipers in kilts and ninja costumes on Halloween in downtown Santa Cruz.

8. It’s your last meal: What would it be?
Homemade lasagna, corn on the cob, sauteed green beans, salad with pretty much everything in it, chocolate mousse cheesecake, and lemon meringue pie.

9. You’re sent to a deserted island, and you only have one album to listen to: Which is it?
This is an impossible question I want so many different artists for so many different reasons. Right now I think Blind Threshold by Beats Antique but after a week I’d probably want Olafur Arnalds’ Living Room Songs.

Starland School of Music – SF Bay Area’s #1 Choice For Music Lessons Since 1979 – Our Music School Serves Alameda, Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, Berkeley, Union City, Albany, Newark, Fremont, and the greater Bay Area.