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.
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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.
January 29, 2022IM -
The Baltimore Symphony Musicians Foundation has launched a new program dedicated to teaching and mentoring young Black and Hispanic/Latinx students who are committed to study music. The Teaching and Mentoring Program for Orchestra (TEMPO) will pair students with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) musicians to help students refine their skills and master the repertoire, while also learning to navigate the complex and competitive audition process.
This one-on-one relationship between student and mentor is at the core of this program. According to Brian Prechtl of Local 40-543 (Baltimore, MD), president of the Baltimore Symphony Musicians Foundation, “Not only will the BSO musician help the younger musician hone their craft, but they will also provide a source for advice and counsel.”
In order to successfully pursue a career as a professional musician, a young person needs a high-quality instrument, the drive to achieve excellence, and the opportunity to receive individual attention and mentorship from professionals in the field. “Mentorship is especially critical,” says Prechtl. “But we found it was missing for many talented but underrepresented students. With cuts being made to music and performing arts programs, teachers are stretched thin—and often it’s the focus on the individual student that suffers. Personal connections with an experienced professional can make all the difference for a young aspiring musician.”
The overarching mission of the foundation is to support musical performances at schools, religious facilities, and other public venues. Among its many community-based activities, the BSO leads master classes, sectionals, and side-by-side sessions with aspiring community musicians of all ages. Musical outreach includes performances at hospitals and impromptu pop-up public performances. Says Prechtl, “This program is a natural extension of the foundation, and at a grassroots level, addresses the call for development of the next generation of Black and Brown orchestra musicians.”