St Albans Music Academy

About Us

supporting and developing local musical talent

Welcome To The St Albans Music Academy - your local and friendly hub of musical excellence

At SAMA, our mission is to enhance music education within our local community by providing outstanding tuition for students of all ages and abilities.
Our experienced teachers are dedicated to encouraging and inspiring students to experience the enjoyment and personal development that learning music brings. We will help you accomplish your goals, whilst maintaining the highest standards and instilling a love and appreciation of music. We provide the opportunity for all students to take part in ensembles, performances and events because we believe that group music-making is a core part of every musician's development.

The Benefits of Music

Learning and taking part in musical activities in an environment such as ours can help students in a huge variety of areas, not just in acquiring the ability to play a musical instrument. For younger students, learning a discipline outside of school can supplement and aid reading, mathematical and analytical skills as well as promote a more engaging and productive attitude to learning. Getting involved in group music-making is a fantastic opportunity for young people to develop their social skills, and to be part of a dynamic and creative environment. For students of all ages, learning a new and expressive art form is an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience.

Meet Our Teachers

All of our teachers are highly experienced, encouraging and friendly people who have been carefully selected to be part of and enhance our supportive and fun community. They are all highly qualified, have many years of experience and are DBS checked.

Karen Dore
Piano, Clarinet and Music Theory
MA(Piano Performance, Hons) BMus(Music, Hons) PGDip(Performance) LRAM(Piano Teaching) ATCL(Clarinet Performance)

Founder and Creative Director of SAMA, Karen has been teaching music for over 20 years. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Karen is highly qualified as a teacher, performer and accompanist and strives to help each student reach their full potential. Her approach is enthusiastic and friendly and her aim is to share her love of music with students of all ages and abilities.

Katie Sazanova
Flute, Saxophone, Clarinet
MA (Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London), BMus(Birmingham Conservatoire)

Katie Sazanova is a passionate and dedicated teacher, with extensive experience teaching in primary and secondary schools. Katie is valued by parents and students for her engaging approach to teaching, and her priority is for students develop a love for music and their instruments. She has prepared pupils for Trinity and ABRSM exams, as well as national competitions. Katie graduated with Distinction from a MA at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London in 2019 and with a 1st class Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree from Birmingham Conservatoire in 2015. Whilst studying and through her career, Katie has won several prestigious awards including the Flutes in Tuscany Young Artist competition in 2018 held in Tereglio and the Woodwind Prize 2014 at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Jade Bultitude
Flute, Saxophone, Clarinet, Piano
MMus (Trinity Laban Conservatoire), BMus hons (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire), FTCL (Trinity Fellowship in performance), LRSM (Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music in teaching), Diploma of the Royal Schools of Music in teaching.

Jade Bultitude is a professional musician who has been performing and teaching for over 20 years. She is passionate about providing high quality teaching that inspires the next generation of musicians. Jade holds a Master’s degree from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Jade strongly believes in the importance of good quality teaching that encourages excellence and professionalism. She has extended her knowledge by taking many additional teaching qualifications, including the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music and Diploma of the Royal Schools of music, completing both with distinction. She considers music a valuable subject that not only provides enjoyment but enriches the lives of those that participate in it.

Mili Hill
Piano and Singing
BA in Musical Theatre (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)

Mili is a professional singer, actor, dancer, musician and music teacher who has been involved in a wide variety of shows in both the UK and US. She has experience teaching singing and piano as well as musical theatre - relishing in giving tuition to students ranging in ability and diverse music styles. She received the Andrew Lloyd Webber Scholarship for her degree and previously trained under a scholarship at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music - where she received Distinctions in Grade 8 Piano and Singing before the age of 18. Mili has also been part of many classical choirs, including the National Youth Choir of Great Britain for 4 years.

Leanne Sinha
Piano & Violin
BMus GSMD (Hons)

Since graduating from The Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Leanne has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician in over 80 different countries. She has led orchestras in the Royal Albert Hall and Festival Hall and performed in all the major concert venues including the Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Hall. Leanne has given multiple chamber music concerts for members of royalty in Japan, the Middle East and for HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Leanne also regularly performs live with various pop artists on both TV and radio. Leanne has been teaching young musicians both piano and violin for over 22 years. Her approach is friendly and enthusiastic and she works hard to instill the joy of performing and love of music in all her pupils. As a Senior Instrumental Tutor at The Lyceum School for over 10 years, many of Leanne's pupils gained music scholarships to London's top secondary schools. She is really excited to be part of the SAMA team!

Jonathan Eddie
Brass (French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone)
AGSM (Guildhall School of Music & Drama)

Jonathan has more than 25 years experience of playing the French horn and teaching brass instruments. Soon after graduating from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Jonathan took up the position of Associate Principal Horn with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra where he spent five happy years before returning to the UK. Since then, Jonathan has worked with many of the country’s finest ensembles, and has played in the orchestra pits of numerous West End shows. Jonathan regularly coaches the horn and brass sections of prestigious youth ensembles, such as the National Children’s Orchestra, the English Schools Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Wind Ensemble. Currently, Jonathan also holds teaching positions at King’s College School, Wimbledon and Uppingham School.

Pablo Tato
Guitar (classical, acoustic electric and bass)
BMus(Hons) Classical Guitar (Royal Conservatory of Madrid), Higher Diploma Electric Guitar (University of East London)

Pablo has been playing guitar for more than 25 years, and he is a busy session player who has recorded and toured with pop artists such as Adele, Lana del Rey or Sophie Ellis-Bextor. He has also recorded soundtracks for BBC movies and series and toured with classical artists such as Andrea Bocelli and Il Divo. Teaching music is his other great passion, and he has been working in prestigious universities (BIMM London) and schools (University College School), apart from a long history of private tutoring. Pablo is a passionate teacher who nurtures the love for the instrument, making sure lessons are fun and tailored to the student's musical taste, incorporating all needed technical and theory elements but prioritizing playing songs and having fun in the classroom.

Josephine Galton
Violin & Viola
BMus (Hons) - Trinity College of Music, PGDip (Performance) - Royal College of Music, LTCL Instrumental Teaching Diploma

Josephine studied the violin and viola with scholarships at Trinity College of Music (BMus) and the Royal College of Music (PGDip). Since graduating she has led a busy and varied musical career, from playing with the finest classical orchestras at prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, to playing with famous pop artists such as Muse at the Brit Awards. She can be seen playing on television programmes such as the Jonathan Ross show, Graham Norton and Strictly Come Dancing, to name a few. She has been a regular dep for the electric string group ‘Escala’ and also enjoys performing in theatre shows with the comedy string quartet group Graffiti Classics. Josephine has an LTCL instrumental teaching diploma and has been teaching for the past 18 years - she enjoys making the lessons educational & interesting as well as good fun. She likes to invite her pupils to come along and watch her in some of her exciting performances!

Jacqueline Dias
Singing (Classical and Musical Theatre)
PGDip - Royal Northern College of Music, School of Vocal Studies and Opera

An experienced oratorio and concert performer as well as opera singer, Jacqueline has performed regularly with St Albans Chamber Opera, the London Film Music Orchestra and with choral societies and ensembles both in the UK and abroad. She is passionate about teaching a sound singing technique in a fun, friendly and approachable way, developing confidence from an early age and communicating her love of a wide range of musical repertoire. Jacqueline is delighted to be a part of the SAMA team.

Emma Warr
Cello, Piano
BA Hons Dunelm

Emma has been teaching cello and piano in St Albans to children and adults for over 12 years. She is a friendly and approachable teacher, who is happy to prepare students for exams, or not, as they/their parents prefer. She has seen pupils successfully through all levels from grade 1 to grade 8. She accompanies her cello pupils either on the piano or in a cello duet right from the start, so they quickly get used to ensemble playing, and see what fun this can be. Her aim is to instill a love of music, which can last a lifetime.

Patrick Dunlea
Cello and Piano
MA (Royal Academy of Music, London)

A former student of Chetham's School of Music, Patrick graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with a Master's degree in 2017 and now balances his time between performing and teaching. He has appeared at numerous venues across the UK including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall in both an orchestral and chamber music setting. Having taught privately since 2013 and in primary and secondary schools for the last few years, Patrick is experienced at teaching all levels of player, from absolute beginner to those preparing for conservatoire auditions or competitions. With lessons tailored to the needs of each individual, Patrick is eager to share his passion for music with the next generation in an engaging and motivating way.

Ana Victoria Marinkova
BMus (Madrid), MA (Royal Academy of Music, London), LRAM (Teaching Diploma, Royal Academy of Music, London)

Ana Victoria has performed in many recitals and concerts with orchestras and chamber music ensembles around the world, working closely with top level cello teachers and participating in masterclasses and festivals. Over time she discovered a love for teaching within her too and studied to achieve her LRAM teaching Diploma as well as her Master's degree at the Royal Academy of Music. She is experienced in teaching both beginner and advanced students, becoming a teacher member for the CFSE Junior Academy (Royal Academy of Music); in Colourstrings Music School in North London Conservatoire (in September 2021) and teacher of numerous private students. As a teacher, Ana Victoria is communicative and encourages her students with a healthy approach towards their instrument and mindset. She is enthusiastic about transmitting her love for music and her approach to learning, aiming to help students to progress and keep their enjoyment and motivation high, whilst also being empathetic and aware of their feelings, thoughts and needs.

Samuel Ng
Cello and Piano
BMus (Royal College of Music, London), DipABRSM (Teaching Diploma)

Samuel achieved his BMus degree from the Royal College of Music, London and is currently studying for his Master's there too. He divides the rest of his time equally between teaching and freelancing as a cellist and a viola da gamba player. Since graduating from the Royal College of Music, he has toured through Europe as a chamber musician, performed at festivals such as the Vienna Philharmonic Ball and the BBC Proms and has performed with The English Concert, La Serenissima and The Hanover Band. Samuel has a particular passion working with students of all ages and abilities and instilling a love for their instrument.

Daniel Ephgrave
Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Piano, Singing/Musical Theatre
MA Music (Hons, Trinity Laban), BMus (Hons, Birmingham)

Daniel is a freelance musician, who also regularly works as an accompanist, teacher and musical director. He has performed in West End theatres and worked with companies such as National Youth Music Theatre and Paul Holman Associates as a musical director, as well as on countless musical productions. Teaching is something which Daniel finds incredibly rewarding. He currently runs a choir at a dance school, accompanies and teaches piano in primary and secondary schools, works at various musical theatre companies and also teaches on a freelance basis. Both through his peripatetic teaching and working with youth groups, he has enjoyed working with adults and children of varying ages and abilities, helping them to improve their performances and confidence. Many of Daniel’s students have gone on to win places at competitive musical theatre colleges such as Emil Dale Academy, Urdang Academy and Arts Educational Schools.

Other Teachers
We also have a number of other teachers able to teach on an occasional basis.

Our Services

At SAMA we aim to offer a variety of services to help promote the highest standard of musical education in our local community, including tuition classes, musical groups, events and instrument hire. See the rest of our site for more details.