Karen grew up in England and has played recorder for as long as she can remember.
When she was 18 years old, she came to Canada and began studying music at UBC. At that time, UBC did not allow students to study recorder so she initially majored in oboe and piano. Eventually she was allowed to switch to recorder and she became the first graduate with a major in the instrument at UBC.
Since then, Karen has had a long career playing professionally, and teaching both adults and children.