Sandra Matthews was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England. She began her piano studies at age 6, and at age 11 began private cello lessons which continued through her college years. By the age of 14, Matthews had completed the examinations provided by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and had won many first prizes in piano competitions and festivals in Warwickshire. Matthews was awarded a full scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she attained a masters degree (G.G.S.M.) in piano performance and teaching. During her years at Guildhall, Matthews was in great demand as an accompanist and was awarded the school's accompanying prize. After graduating, Matthews was given a grant from the City of London for a further years study in accompanying, chamber music and harpsichord. Since moving to California, Matthews has been on the staff of California State University, Fullerton; University of California, Irvine; and Orange Coast College. Married with two daughters, Matthews maintains a busy life teaching and freelance accompanying throughout California. Her most important work has been with Pacific Symphony, for which she has been the principal keyboard player since its inception in 1978.