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


Elaine Douvas
Principal oboist of the Metropolitan Opera since 1977, Douvas, a member of Local 802 (New York City), delighted in ballet and figure skating as a child—she still incorporates those passions into her musical choreography.

The American Rescue Plan: In Unity There is Strength

As I write this column (March 12, 2021) the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, with its relief provisions for multiemployer pension plans, has passed the Senate, was approved by the House of Representatives, and was signed into law by President Biden. If there were ever a day to celebrate the power of collective action and […]

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Changes for International Musician and at the Federal Office of Labor-Management Standards

Beginning with next month’s May 2021 issue of the AFM official journal International Musician, the production will change from Bentley-Hall, Inc. to Method Marketing, Inc. I want to thank Bentley-Hall for the many years of dedicated service and devotion to the production and design of our award-winning magazine. To be crystal clear, we are leaving […]

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Pharmacare, Tommy Douglas, and the Price of Tea in China

en français The longer the pandemic goes on, the more exposed the weaknesses in the social structure become. Those with precarious work (e.g. gigging musicians) have struggled for mere survival. When the “Great Reset” happens, certainly there are a plethora of improvements to be made. One of the major objectives of the Canadian Labour Congress […]

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‘Right to Work’ Really Means ‘Right to Work for Less’

The post-WWII legislation known as “Right to Work,” which is still on the books in 28 states, is one of the great misnomers of all time. It sounds kind of noble, but what it really means is “Right to Work for Less.” In other words, you have the right to work for as little as […]

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NLRB Issues Formal Complaint Against Fort Wayne Phil

On February 24, Region 25 (Indianapolis) of the National Labor Relations Board issued a formal complaint against the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. It alleges that during the course of bargaining for a successor collective bargaining agreement, the Philharmonic failed and refused to bargain in good faith when it “presented and subsequently withdrew bargaining proposals; reneged on […]

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Spark Your Musical Creativity with Breathing and Essential Oils

Creativity goes far beyond your artistic outlets—it’s about doing something meaningful, giving you a sense of purpose. Acting on your creativity comes with a bonus side effect of living longer, because being creative reduces stress and keeps your brain active. Not that you needed those stats to want to continue to love and foster your […]

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