Guitar instructor Ram Miles has enjoyed celebrity status among the students, parents, and alumni of IMS for years. Recently, however, his star has risen to a new level. Ram is one of several musicians sponsored by the world famous bass guitar maker Michael Tobias Design (a.k.a. MTD Bass). Ram is featured, playing one of the fine MTD bass guitars, on the recently released CD, MTD Family Reunion, produced by MTD4LYFE, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping musicians in need.

In late January, Ram flew out to Los Angeles to attend the 2012 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA, where music industry professionals from around the world gather to see the latest products and network with peers. (Mr. Devey and Ram spotted Jackson Browne hanging out near the MTD booth!) Ram also participated in the MTD Family Reunion Benefit Concert and CD release party that provided financial support for two organizations that help musicians in need, MusiCares® and H.E.A.R.®

“Before I started working at IMS, I did not have health insurance. There are so many musicians out there without insurance who can’t afford proper medical care. The work we’re doing with MTD directly supports musicians who need help with those kinds of necessary expenses,” says Ram.

MusicCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for musicians in times of need with a range of financial, medical, and emergency services. MusicCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community.

H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers), founded by bass player Kathy Peck, is dedicated to the prevention of hearing loss and tinnitus among musicians and music fans (especially teens) through education awareness and grassroots outreach advocacy. H.E.A.R. is a non-profit volunteer organization that works to raise awareness of the real dangers of repeated exposure to excessive noise levels from music, which can lead to permanent, and sometimes debilitating, hearing loss and tinnitus.

Ram plays a 6-string MTD bass guitar on the MTD Family Reunion CD, which you can purchase from the IMS school store for $20 or from iTunes and All proceeds from the sale of the CD that includes Ram on bass go to non-profit organizations to benefit musicians. The MTD Family Reunion CD also includes bassists Andrew Gouche (Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, The Winans), Norm Stockton (Lincoln Brewster, Kevin Rogers), Bubby Lewis (Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco), Max Bennett, Bobby Vega, Dave Inamine, Lynne Keller, and others.