With her MEd and BA in English, with a minor in music from the University of Utah, Kirsten began her public school teaching orchestra in Jordan School District at Bingham Middle School. She has taught in Washington County School District for the past 21 years, beginning with Pine View Middle and High Schools. She currently teaches elementary through 7th grade at Sunrise Ridge Intermediate, and 8th-12th grade at Desert Hills Middle and Desert Hills High School. She is married to Ed Candland, orchestra director at Fossil Ridge and Pine View Middle High Schools; they have three musical children.
As a certified Suzuki violin teacher, she maintains a private studio, and is serves as the host for the annual graduation recital for the Southern Utah region of SAU. She and Ed organize the annual Southern Utah Strings Festival, and directed the Zion Youth Symphony Orchestra and Zion Youth Camerata for many seasons. She is serving on the Orchestra Committee for the Utah Music Educators Association, and is a member of the American String Teachers Association.
Being an All-State Orchestra member, participating in summer camps throughout Utah and Arizona, and having toured with the Rocky Mountain Youth Camerata, Mormon Youth Symphony, Utah Valley Youth Symphony, and school orchestras, she has enjoys watching students of her own thrive in the rich life experiences musical study offers. She values the association with fine people that musical ensembles provide.
She has studied with John Chatelain, Lynnette Stewart, Lawrence Sardoni, and Dennis Hansen.