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


Home » Officer Columns » Secretary-Treasurer » A Combination of Sun Tzu and Will Rogers

A Combination of Sun Tzu and Will Rogers

  -  former AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

Needs to be said and I’m the one to say it! I remember the AFM Convention in 1983 very well. First, because it was when I first ran and became a member of the AFM International Executive Board (IEB), and secondly, because it’s when I first met my friend Ray Hair. You know when you meet someone with that extra something. Ray was a delegate with a purpose, then as he is now.

As members you should understand who you have as your president—a successful organization needs a leader who leads and can articulate the mission. President Hair is that leader. Ray lives to negotiate.

President Hair leads our negotiating team. The negotiating team is made up of rank and file members, vested in the contract, along with a blend of AFM staff, IEB, and local officers. It became apparent at the first negotiations of a national contract that President Hair was different—a rare combination of Sun Tzu and Will Rogers—war and colloquial wit.

And just a warning when you sign one of our AFM contracts, be prepared to adhere to the terms and conditions. I pity the companies that do not. Look at the companies currently that have cheated our members. They are now in litigation.

Ray carries our mission to improve the life of working musicians in all that he does for the Federation and we are better off for it! You go, my friend and brother.

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