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


Fostering a Broader Understanding of Shared Priorities as Musicians and Members

Tino Gagliardi Photo

August is player conference season, and it was quite a month. In July, I had the opportunity to meet with the Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) in Atlanta as AFM president-elect. My first official appearance as president came in Montreal, Canada, when I visited with the Organization of Canadian Symphony Musicians (Organisation des Musiciens d’Orchestre […]

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Complacency, Simmering Pots, and Frogs

Complacency is a curse. It’s a curse because it lulls us into a routine, diminishes our ability to see ourselves through the eyes of others, and siphons off our wherewithal to confront authority. It’s a curse because complacency is the mortal enemy of progress. Those of us who live within the comfortable walls of what […]

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Protect Yourself and Your Work with AFM Recording Contracts

After serving on the AFM International Executive Board for 13 years, I am honored to be writing my first column as AFM International Vice President in this special Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD) issue. As a 45-year AFM Local 257 (Nashville, TN) member, recording is near and dear to my heart, and it has been […]

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Political Advocacy: The AFM Member Path to Career Certainty

Alfonso Pollard headshot

As the nation moves toward the 2024 general election, it is time to organize ourselves for success. Over recent years, AFM members have ramped up efforts on Capitol Hill to promote legislation affecting their lives. Soon, you will be confronted with making election and lobbying choices that will directly affect your career. Let’s look at our internal […]

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Welcome to the Electronic Media Services Division Focus Issue

John Painting

It is my honor to welcome you to this year’s issue of the International Musician focused on electronic media and the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD). This division is charged with serving and protecting the interests of nonsymphonic recording musicians. (AFM Symphonic Services Division represents symphony, opera, ballet, and chamber orchestra electronic media projects.) Two […]

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What Is a Yellow Dog Contract?

According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Center, “Yellow dog contracts are agreements between an employer and employee in which, often as a precondition to being hired, the employee agrees not to become a labor union member or act in collaboration with other employees. There are both federal and state statutes outlawing yellow dog […]

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