Our Team

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.

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!

Arthur Brito

Music Education Specialist and Music Retail Sales Expert

Born and raised in Oakland, Arthur is a 21-year-old business administration major. Arthur Grew up surrounded by music. Being in a musical family, it was inevitable that he would be hooked as well. Arthur’s love of music first began in church. It was in his grandfather’s church that he learned to sing and play different instruments at a young age.  He took inspiration from popular contemporary gospel artists such as Israel Houghton, Martha Munizzi, Kirk Franklin, and many others.Through the years, Arthur has learned to play piano, guitar, and clarinet. He mastered the clarinet in the school orchestra and as freshman in high school, he was first chair. Arthur still sings in church and is currently studying piano in college. He hopes to take on more instruments in the future and looks forward to where his musical journey will lead him.

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

2. Greatest Musical Influence?
Israel Houghton

3. Any hidden talents besides music?
I can kinda do that thumb trick where it looks like it’s detached.

4. What did you want to be while you were growing up?
A cowboy. I watched a lot of westerns as kid.

5. If you could have any ‘Super Power’, which one would it be?
I’d for sure be able to fly. Also having super strength, the ability to read minds, the ability to turn invisible, and x-ray vision wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

6. If you could master any other instrument which would it be?
It’s a mix between piano and guitar. I took lesson as a kid, but I never really mastered them.

7. Have you had what people would consider your “15 Minutes of Fame”, and if so when/what was that?
No, not yet. But Hopefully soon.

8. It’s your last meal: What would it be?
A big fat double cheese burger with bacon, fries, and vanilla milk shake. Okay make that two Cheese burgers!

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

 

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.