Bob Shields’ objective as an educator, musicologist, composer, performer, author and researcher is to empower individuals and groups to manage their creativity as an integral part of self and community development.
A respected music educator for over twenty years at Mohawk College, McMaster University, and York University, his experience includes delivering courses in Performance, Improvisation, Composition, Theory, topics in Popular Music Culture, and Musicology/Ethnomusicology courses. In addition, Bob developed and ran “Music in the City for the City”, a community outreach program at Mohawk that gave students real-life performance opportunities and collected donations for the Good Shepherd food bank.
Bob performs in multiple genres with many of Canada’s finest musicians, has toured in several countries, composed and produced CDs of original music, and appeared as a sideman on many recording and touring projects, including with multi-platinum European rock group Exception. His jazz trio Shields Johnston Fieldingreceived a 2016 Ontario Arts Council touring grant. His doctoral and current research focuses on creativity and wellbeing. In 2017, he was published in the Humanities and Social Sciences Review and spoke at the World Association of Dynamic Psychiatry and at the International Journal of Arts and Science conference. He has also run summer Creativity and Wellbeing workshops since 2015. These workshops cover an array of creative wellbeing topics in tandem with creative performance, composition, improvisation, and self-management.
Bob believes that cultivating creativity is not simply about knowledge acquisition, novelty and economic usefulness. It provides a medium for self-actualization, personal wellbeing and self-transcendence; a tool for life and work; an approach to cultivating an appreciation of cultural practices in a globalized world; and a means to expand our creative potential, compassion and social contribution.