Born in Germany (1972) to a musical family, Karin Schaupp started playing the guitar at the age of 5, and at 6 she gave her first performance at the local music school in the little town where she and her family lived. She remembers this event as being the time she decided "...this is what I want to do with my life; I love this so much". When she was 8, the family moved to Queensland.
While in her teens, Karin Schaupp won prizes at competitions at Lagonegro, Italy and Madrid, Spain. At the Madrid competition she won the special competition prize for the Best Interpretation of Spanish Music. She completed bachelor's and master's degrees in music at the University of Queensland, and she continues to teach at the University of Queensland and the University of Southern Queensland.
She performed Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra when she was aged 18.
She is a member of Saffire, also known as the Australian Guitar Quartet, along with Slava Grigoryan, Gareth Koch, and Anthony Field (replaced by Leonard Grigoryan).