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 www.afm.org/join.
June 26, 2015IM -
by John Wittmann, Manager of Artist Relations and Education, Band & Orchestral Division, Yamaha Corporation of America
Musicians performing at all levels consider acquiring endorsements at some point in their career. Some play with the idea; others move on it. Ultimately, it is the reasoning or motive behind one’s actions that determines success as an endorsing artist.
From the manufacturer’s point of view, endorsements are designed to help promote the credibility of a company’s instruments or accessories. They also exist to give the appropriate support to established artists and to help the company sell more instruments.
When someone tells me they want to endorse our instruments, I listen without interrupting until they are completely finished with their pitch. Then, after a long pause, I look them in the eye and say one word, which is one of the most empowering words in our language. I simply say “Why?”
The artist’s response will ensure or quell any interest on my behalf. If they continue talking about how good they are, or how close they are to signing that big record deal, or how we would be crazy not to sign them, then I invite them to send a package and end the conversation as quickly and politely as possible.
If, on the other hand, the artist tells me that they love our instruments, have found complete freedom in musical expression playing them, and indicate that they will continue playing them whether we sign that artist or not, I continue to listen.
It still amazes me to this day that musicians will apply to several manufactures at the same time. Consider the lack of credibility involved here. What does this say about their musical decisions? What they are really saying is that it doesn’t matter, musically, what instrument they play and that they are just looking to find the company which will give them more.
I know I speak for all musical instrument manufacturers when I say “get a clue.” If you want to be taken seriously in the big leagues, act like a professional, make a musical decision, and stay with it. If you want to be considered for a corporate, musical, and personal relationship through an endorsement, consider the following:
An endorsement relationship with a company is a privilege. It is a truly reciprocal relationship which is based on trust and great communication. Endorsements do not exist to propel anyone’s career. Rather your successful career will propel endorsements.