Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.

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Emily Levin
The principal harpist for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Local 72-147) talks about the power of music and the responsibility of the artist.


#TakeTwoKnees and #LiftEveryVoice

Union Musicians Protest Racism Clarinetist Anthony McGill of Local 802 (New York City) on May 29 posted a challenge to his social media pages to put a spotlight on racism—and it has gone viral throughout the orchestral community. McGill’s challenge was the result of his feelings over the death of George Floyd at the hands […]

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A Conversation with Double Bassist Joel Quarrington

Joel Quarrington, a life member of Local 149 (Toronto, ON) and Local 180 (Ottawa, ON), has served for over 30 years as the principal double bassist of many ensembles including the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Symphony, Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra. He also teaches at the University of Ottawa […]

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Acupuncture and Musicians: What, When, How, Why?

Acupuncture can be a very effective treatment for many conditions both acute (recent) or chronic (recurring). Some examples for musicians would include tendonitis, carpal tunnel and ulnar tunnel syndromes, neck and back pain, and other repetitive motion/overuse type injuries acquired while learning their craft. Acupuncture often works in cases where other treatment methods have failed, […]

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Emily Levin

The Power of Music to Soothe the “Savage Breast” In a time such as now filled with so much strife and anger, it’s comforting to think that music can soothe the soul (or the “savage breast,” as was written in 1697). It was this power of music, in fact, that ignited in Emily Levin when […]

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Bargaining for a Safe Return to the Symphonic Workplace

Some orchestral employers have started to plan various scenarios under which musicians might come back to work, e.g., through some combination of small ensembles, socially distanced audiences, and streaming of content. Some musicians are anxious to resume work, for reasons both economic and non-economic; others are justifiably concerned that in the absence of a safe, […]

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OCSM’s First Online Conference a Success

en français The year-round activity of each of the AFM’s Symphonic Player Conferences—the collection and sharing of information and the fostering of communication among bargaining units, their locals, the AFM, and industry partners—culminates in an annual conference, held every summer. As you’ve seen reported here many times, the annual conference of the Organization of Canadian […]

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