Karen Schoenhals grew up in an environment full of music, belonging to an extended family of classical pianists, vocalists, instrumentalists, composers, and dancers.

She began studying piano at the age of eight.

Schoenhals has studied classical guitar under the direction of world-renown teachers Bruce Holzman, Denis Azabagic, Carlos Molina, Lily Afshar, and Rafael Padron. She earned a master’s degree in classical guitar performance from Florida International University, and has received a number of awards, including First Prize in the Cedar Falls Music Society Classical Guitar Competition, First Prize in the Springfield Classical Guitar Competition, First Prize in the McAllister Classical Music Solo Competition, and the FAU School of Music Performance Honors Award, awarded unanimously by the FAU music faculty. She has earned scholarships from FAU, the Lifelong Learning Society, and the Johnson Foundation. Her first CD, “Body of My Guitar,” was released in 2002. In addition to performing live on WXEL radio, Schoenhals has performed in concerts throughout the United States, both as a soloist and in ensembles. She has been featured as concerto soloist with the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra, with the FAU Wind Symphony Orchestra, and with the FIU Women’s Choir.

Schoenhals is listed on the official website, Women of the Classical Guitar.

Schoenhals holds Bachelors degrees from Northwestern University in both Math and Creative Writing. Her poetry has been published in many literary journals, including Rattle, The William and Mary Review, and Louisiana Literature.