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



Orchestras Should Be a Valued Asset to Every Community

Carla Lehmeier-Tatum – Regional Orchestra Players Association President and President of Local 618 (Albuquerque, NM) News of the Minnesota Orchestra contract ratification was received by the industry with great relief for our brothers and sisters in the Twin Cities. The solidarity and endurance that these musicians displayed was remarkable. The frustrations and hardships they endured […]

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Detroit Symphony Orchestra Settles Contract Ahead of Schedule

Musicians and management of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) agreed to a new three-year contract in January, eight months in advance of the current contract’s expiration date. The last time DSO went through contract negotiations, it led to a six-month musician strike. This time around, the faces around the bargaining table were almost entirely new, […]

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Fashion Meets the Phil at Burbank Philharmonic

Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra’s collaboration with Woodbury University’s School of Fashion Design was “an immediate good fit,” according to Dr. Kathryn Hagen, chair of the fashion department. At the November Fashion Meets the Phil gala concert, a guest artist and four orchestra musicians, members of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA), wore gowns specially designed by Woodbury […]

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New York Philharmonic Ratifies Contract

Musicians of the New York Philharmonic ratified a new contract December 13. The contract is retroactive to September 20, 2013, when the previous deal expired. Musicians will see modest wage increases in each of the contract’s four years, for a total wage increase of 6.5%. That will bring base salaries to $146,848 by the final […]

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AFM Establishes New Local 50

The Regional Mexicano Traveling Musicians Union by Ken Shirk, Assistant to the AFM President, AFM West Coast Office Charter members of the AFM’s newest local gathered January 8th to adopt bylaws, elect temporary officers, and chart the course of their new union. The Regional Mexicano Traveling Musicians Union, AFM Local 50 (Nongeographic), held its first […]

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Violinist Fined $120K for Not Declaring Instruments

According to the CBC, Canadian musician Yosuke Kawasaki of Local 180 (Ottawa, ON) was fined $120,000 Can, plus PST, for not declaring his instruments—a $385,000 violin and three bows worth $90,000, $6,800, and $2,000. Born and trained in New York, Kawasaki is concertmaster of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. The instruments were initially […]

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Minnesota Orchestra Lockout Ends at 16 Months

On January 14, musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra ratified a new CBA that brings to an end the devastating 16-month lockout that canceled the entire 2012-2013 season and half of the current season. The new contract goes into effect February 1 and the first performances will take place soon after. Musicians agreed to a 15% […]

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Grado GS-1000

They may be among the finest sounding headphones on the planet. They’re handcrafted in Brooklyn, New York, by audio industry stalwart Grado Labs. The polished mahogany headset uses an open-back design with wooden chambers that create a personal listening room around your ears. Frequency range of 8 Hz to 35 kHz (beyond human hearing), unique […]

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Ear Factor

Play It Safe When It Comes to Your Hearing Whether you play for a wall thumping rock band or with a booming brass band, your ears need protection from the loud sounds that constantly bombard them. But just how much noise is too much? Eighty-five decibels, like the level of sound from a blender or […]

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Competing for Gigs with Mobile DJs

by Bob Popyk, member Local 78 (Syracuse, NY) Quite a few years back, I did a column about competing with mobile DJs for gigs in your local market. Nothing has changed. If you’re a casual-date musician, nothing is worse than losing a gig to a guy with a sound system, recorded music, and some patter. […]

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