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


Born of Common Purpose, Our Vision Still Stands

big radio

October marks the 125th Anniversary of the American Federation of Musicians. This column describes the founding of the AFM, introducing a special anniversary supplement included in this issue of the International Musician. I hope you enjoy this historic look back at the beginning years of our union. It was October 1896, 125 years ago. Musicians […]

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Happy Anniversary — On Our Journey Toward Increased Democracy

jay blumenthal

We are celebrating our 125th AFM anniversary. It is a great source of pride to know that we belong to a venerated union with such a long and distinguished history. There were, however, some growing pains as we evolved into the democratic union we have become. One very important steppingstone on our journey toward increased […]

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Why the AFM Player Conferences Are Important

by Terryl Jares, International Executive Board Member and President of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL) This issue of the International Musician features reports from the AFM player conferences that took place during July and August. These are extremely important organizations within our AFM. From 1962 through 1995, the five player conferences were established and obtained recognition […]

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Big Tech’s Big Fight

More and more, artists are tiring of the notion that platforms such as Spotify pay a ridiculous 3/100 of a cent per stream. And, because of the way payout is weighted, the majority of the money goes to only the most heavily streamed artists. This is part of the “value gap.” Online content sharing platforms […]

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AFM Members Unite Around AMFA Campaign

As noted in the August International Musician, we have begun an internal campaign to advocate for passage of H.R 4130, the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA). This performance rights bill is designed to provide royalty payments to artists, session musicians, and vocalists when their recordings are performed and broadcast over AM and FM radio. AFM […]

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59th Annual ICSOM Conference Held as a Hybrid Event

by Laura Ross, ICSOM Secretary, Nashville Symphony Member, and Member of Local 257 (Nashville, TN) It took an additional year for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) to host the 59th annual International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) Conference held August 11-14, 2021 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown hotel. Our hosts from PSO […]

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