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



EU Scraps Plans for Download Levy

The British Government has blocked a plan by the European Union that would have raised money to help young musicians through a levy on the sale of iPads and other tablets. The levy has already been adopted by numerous European Union states and is part of a directive aimed at legalizing the copying of music, […]

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Pilates Alleviates Common Injuries Suffered by Musicians 

A career as a classical musician comes with many rewards, but optimum physical health is generally not one of them. For example, surveys of symphony members found between 64% and 76% suffer from complaints of the arms, neck, and/or shoulders. Repetitive motions, awkward positions, and excessive force, can all lead to pain and injury, which […]

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Overuse: How to Avoid Injury

Most musicians will experience discomfort while playing at some time during their careers. One of the most common causes of pain among musicians is an overuse injury. These often affect the wrists and arms or neck and shoulders. Overuse injury is defined as a breakdown of tissues (muscles, tendons, or ligaments) that have been stressed […]

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The Alexander Technique Can Boost Your Health and Your Career

The Alexander Technique addresses inefficient habits of movement and patterns of accumulated tension that interfere with our innate ability to move easily. But as Michael J. Gelb says in Body Learning, his book on the subject, the technique itself is difficult to define because it involves a new experience. It’s like “trying to explain music […]

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Hearing Aid Q&A for Musicians

Most musicians know that they should protect their hearing, but what can they do if some damage has already been done? Omaha, Nebraska, audiologists Kendall Simmons and Joel Edwards, who both work with the national hearing healthcare provider network EarQ, answer some questions. I play violin in the orchestra, and when the brass plays it […]

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Tony White: Finding New Challenges in Teaching and Performing

Arthritis: Protect Your Livelihood with Early Diagnosis

With about 50 million Americans (one out of five) and 4.5 million Canadians suffering from some sort of arthritis or chronic joint pain, it is not surprising that there are many musicians affected. Instances of some types of arthritis among professional musicians may actually be elevated due to repetitive movements related to playing instruments or […]

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Getting a Grip on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which there is pressure on the median nerve—the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. If you play your instrument for many hours per day without adequate breaks and/or stretching, you may one day find yourself afflicted with carpal tunnel syndrome. […]

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Dealing with the Difficult Subject of Addiction

The following article is condensed from an article provided by MusiCares ( The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences established the MusiCares Foundation to provide emergency assistance to musicians who are in need. Research indicates that addiction is a problem that affects roughly 10% of the general population. That statistic is often larger within […]

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Hear the Music: A Guide to Hearing Loss Prevention

“The ear is an amazing organ that causes one to suspect that evolution had music and musicians in mind,” writes Dr. Marshall Chasin in his book Hear the Music: Hearing Loss Prevention for Musicians. The two most common causes of inner ear hearing loss are noise/music exposure and hearing loss associated with aging. While being […]

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