He studied at the ArtEZ School of Music in Arnhem, where he currently is head of the Jazz & Pop dept. In 1986 he founded 2 bands: Bik Bent Braam (with Angelo Verploegen, Eric Boeren, Wolter Wierbos, Peter Haex, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Peter van Bergen, Jan Willem van der Ham, Bart van der Putten, Frans Vermeerssen, Frank Gratkowski, Jörg Brinkmann, Michael Vatcher) en Bentje Braam.
In 1987 Michiel Braam was commissioned by the NOS. He composed a work for 4 clarinets and piano entitled Cows and Beasts. It was performed by Braam on piano, and the clarinet players Ab Baars, Theo Jörgensmann, Michael Moore and Louis Sclavis. In 1989 he founded Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher (with Wilbert de Joode and Michael Vatcher), in 2005 eBraam (fka Wurli Trio, with Pieter Douma and Dirk-Peter Kölsch), and in 2011 Michiel Braam's Hybrid 10tet (with eBraam, the classical Matangi String Quartet, Taylor Ho Bynum, Carl Ludwig Hübsch and Nils Wogram).
Together with Frans Vermeerssen he co-leads the sextet All Ears (with Herb Robertson, Frank Gratkowski, Wilbert de Joode and Michael Vatcher). He worked also with musicians like George Lewis, Benjamin Herman, Han Bennink, Conny and Hannes Bauer and Steve Argüelles.
The orchestra Bik Bent Braam is considered to be one of the main bigger orchestras in the field of improvisation-music and performs worldwide, as does the trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher.
In 2007 Braam composed Nopera, a sort of music theatre piece in which the written parts could be performed at random and contained lots of room for improvisation, and the libretto was written in the Nothingyettish language.
In 1988, Braam was honoured with the Podium prize and in 1997 he got Dutch most important jazz prize, the VPRO/Boy Edgar Award.