Kirsten completed her Bachelor of Music in Flute and Composition  at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She completed her Masters in Music in Composition at the University of British Columbia where she studied composition with Stephen Chatman.

From 1995 to 2012, Kirsten was active as a teacher, performer, and composer in Ottawa. She had several of her compositions performed  with Espace Musique and she composed music for and played flute in Easy Street Productions' Good God, What a Night That Was (1998), Songs and Poems about Love and Eros

She has played flute with numerous chamber ensembles in a large variety of productions, including the Ottawa presentations of R. Murray Schafer's Spirit Garden, performances of her own flute duet at the Ottawa Fringe Festival, and numerous collaborations with singers, choirs, and harpists.  She is a former member of the flute quartet Opus Four, which was active in Ottawa from 2002 to 2012.  Kirsten has also enjoyed singing in choirs.

Since 2012, Kirsten has been teaching flute, recorder, and theory in her private music studio in Seattle. She volunteers for the Seattle Music Teachers Association and is employed by the Washington State Music Teachers Association as Executive Manager.