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


Musicians Everywhere Are Standing Up and Standing Together

Tino Gagliardi Photo

As we prepared to go to press with this issue we learned the shocking news that the board of directors of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) had decided to suspend operations and that the orchestra would not begin its 2023-2024 season as planned. This decision was announced to musicians and the press almost simultaneously. It was […]

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Artificial Sweeteners, Artificial Intelligence, and Us

Ken Shirk Photo

The modern human is a strange species—particularly, the variety of the species that is intent on amassing wealth and goods far beyond what could possibly ever be needed for a comfortable existence. Our economic system has conditioned us to embrace and honor maximally extractive behavior to satisfy our continual quest for transient comforts in support […]

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It’s Time to Show Others What Our Union Is About

We have seen a lot of labor actions this past summer. Chances are they’re going to continue for a while. It’s driving meaningful changes to how all working people are perceived and valued. Seeing musicians supporting each other and supporting other union members by participating in leafleting and picketing is inspiring! Activism is the heart […]

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It’s Time to Prepare for 2024 Elections

Alfonso Pollard headshot

Presidential and congressional elections will be held Tuesday, November 5, 2024. The first Republican Presidential caucus takes place January 15, 2024 in Iowa. Now is the time to prepare. In the September International Musician, I outlined the monumental legislative successes you achieved over the past 10 years. Each of these wins created added value to your […]

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ROPA Welcomed Delegates to July Conference

by Steve Wade, ROPA President and member of Local 400 (Hartford-New Haven, CT) The Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) held its 40th conference in Atlanta, July 25-27. By all accounts the event was excellent. Highlights included the first appearance at a conference by then AFM International President-elect Tino Gagliardi and a keynote address by Dr. […]

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2023 ICSOM Conference Travels to Milwaukee

by Laura Ross, ICSOM Secretary, Nashville Symphony, member of Local 257 (Nashville, TN) The musicians of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and the Milwaukee Musicians’ Association (AFM Local 8) hosted this year’s International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) conference at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, August 23-26. A volunteer event on Tuesday afternoon included […]

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