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


Legislative Update, Recent News

House Judiciary Committee Unanimously Passes the Music Modernization Act to Send to the Full House Floor

The Music Modernization Act (HR 5447) was passed by the Judiciary Committee on April 11 who then sent it to the full House floor. This bill is the first piece of comprehensive copyright, music licensing legislation to come out of Congress in the past 30 years.   House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (center) speaks […]

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Works to Increase Diversity Through Youth Music Program

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) will launch the Annapolis Symphony Academy this fall, providing music instruction and ensemble training for middle and high school students.

Reading Symphony Orchestra Performs with Local Painter in Interdisciplinary Concert

On May 5, Pennsylvania’s Reading Symphony Orchestra, whose musicians are members of Local 135-211 (Reading, PA), will conclude its 2017-2018 season with a program entitled “Picture This!”

Nontenured Faculty Seek Union Relief for Low Pay and Benefits

Universities across the US are seeing an up-tick in union activity. Fifty years ago, 80% of university faculty positions were tenured or tenure-track jobs. Now this statistic is reversed, with about 80% of instructional jobs, including teaching graduate students, nontenured. These faculty have little say in university governance, few job protections, and low salaries. Columbia […]

Jazz Suite for Flute Quartet

This three-movement work features different jazz styles in each movement.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Plans Overseas Tour

This August, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) will travel to Europe, marking its first overseas tour in 13 years. Thus far, the orchestra’s first tour stop is the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland.

Saudi Arabia Opens to Arts

As part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 economic project, the country is opening up to the arts. Paris Opera has agreed to help set up a national orchestra and opera in Saudi Arabia.

International Executive Board Approves New Live Concert Streaming Agreement

The AFM International Executive Board has approved a new Live Concert Streaming Agreement that specifically covers the taping of concerts that will be made available on the Internet as individual selections.

Why We Should Advocate for Larger Pit Orchestras

I received many insightful comments from musicians across our Federation after my November 2017 column addressing the downsizing of touring musical orchestras. Most of the comments suggested ways to educate the public about this issue in order to have them demand larger orchestras to enhance their theatre experience.

Boston Landmarks Orchestra Votes to Unionize

In a National Labor Relations Board election, Boston Landmarks Orchestra musicians voted 41 to 5 for Local 9-535 to represent them as they organize and negotiate their first collective bargaining agreement.