Born on 16 July 1948 in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, Shri Tota Ram Sharma received his training in the Pakhawaj from Shri Murlidhar of the Kudau Singh school. He was further groomed in the art by the noted Pakhawaj-player Purushottam Das, a master of the Nathdwara tradition.
An outstanding performer and teacher of Pakhawaj, Shri Tota Ram Sharma is a top-grade artist of All India Radio. He has performed widely at prestigious music festivals, accompanying eminent Dhrupad musicians such as Aminuddin Khan Dagar and Ram Chatur Mallik, and Beenkars such as Gopal Krishna and Asad Ali Khan. He has also distinguished himself as a solo musician. As a teacher of percussion, he has trained a number of students in the Pakhawaj. He has served as Guru at Rajasthan University, Jaipur, and Kathak Kendra, Delhi. He has many recordings to his credit.
For his dedicated work in the field of music, he has received several honours including the title of Talmani conferred by the Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai.
Shri Tota Ram Sharma receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Hindustani instrumental music.