Miles Ahead Music Is Perfectly in Tune

By Remy Sisk

When Miles Davis started an instrument repair company in his basement in 1993, he couldn’t have known it would bloom into the flourishing business it is today. What began as Davis repairing woodwind instruments at home has now become Miles Ahead Music, an ever-growing business with locations in Louisville and Richmond, Kentucky, that does instrument rentals, sales and repairs as well as music lessons.

“We are a full-service facility here,” affirms General Manager Carrie RavenStem. “We have the largest repair shop in the tristate area, we have four full-time technicians across both stores and three part-time technicians. We handle winds, strings, brass and percussion instruments, so we can repair pretty much anything.”

Although offering repairs is indeed where the company started, it has now expanded into rentals and sales for all skill levels. “We sell beginner instruments for beginning band and orchestra students as well as string instruments,” RavenStem relates. “And then we also provide instruments all the way up to the professional level – we’ll have a beginner instrument for a child and then we also sell $20,000 bassoons and handmade flutes.”

In addition, providing music lessons allows parents who know their child may want to play an instrument to make Miles Ahead their one-stop shop – not only for a comprehensive array of instruments but also for top-notch instruction. “We have a full faculty of instructors for students here,” RavenStem elaborates. “We have four music studios here that are packed every day, and I believe every single one of the teachers we have here is a professional player – and many of them are also degreed.”

As far as what has elevated Miles Ahead to the large-scale operation it is today, RavenStem believes it has much to do with the founder himself: “Miles is a people person. He will listen very intently to what the customer has to say. He gives people what they need, and I think that’s why a lot of the Louisville Orchestra players come here. … Miles does all my clarinet repair work and is the only person who’s touched my horn since I moved here from Chicago. I won’t let anyone else touch it!”

RavenStem is quick to note, however, that the business is also set apart by its employees’ undeniable expertise as they are all players themselves. This aspect thus allows each to be that much more knowledgeable when working with clients and truly have a shared understanding. Moreover, Miles Ahead is committed to transparency with their customers, ensuring parents spend only what is needed and never more. “We don’t want to sell something that a parent or a child doesn’t need just to make a sale – that’s not what we’re about,” she emphasizes. “We lead with the customer’s needs first, and with our professional knowledge as performers, we help them get what they need without trying to upsell something.”

As Miles Ahead inches toward the holiday season, it prepares for what it calls Step Up Season, where students “step up” to higher quality instruments. They will be hosting a String Step Up Day in the store on November 11 for their string students; however, no matter the time of year or type of instrument, you can be certain Miles Ahead Music will always be perfectly in tune with whatever your musical
need may be.

Mles Ahead Music

808 Lyndon Lane Suite 103