Herbert Pauls grew up in Northern Saskatchewan. He began studying with British pianist Robin Harrison at 14 and by the end of his undergraduate years in Saskatoon he had mastered a large literature including the 24 Etudes of Chopin. Throughout his youth he won numerous prizes at the local and provincial levels and also competed at the national level. He accompanied numerous upper-year student recitals and many local competition entrants and gave a number of recitals, both solo and with many of Saskatoon's best professional musicians. He also appeared in CBC regional broadcasts. From 1998 to 1999 he studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto with Boris Lysenko (former head of piano at the Leningrad Conservatory).
Insurmountable physical problems eventually necessitated a change in direction, and in 2004, Herbert completed a Masters in Musicology (University of Toronto) with full scholarship, specializing in music theory. From 2005 to 2008 he studied and worked abroad, teaching English as a second language in Rostock, Germany, where he also started his doctoral work. He was awarded a magna cum laude Phd in historical musicology in 2014 for his 500-page work Two Centuries in One: Musical Romanticism and the Twentieth Century. Dr. Pauls is the principle translator for the German CD company SPEKTRAL Records, works as a writer, teaches privately, and is a sessional piano instructor at Canadian Mennonite University.