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


Articles, Electronic Media Services

45 Years in the EMSD

In October, AFM Electronic Media Services Division Director and Assistant to the President Pat Varriale will be celebrating 45 years in the EMSD.

Baltimore Symphony Management intent on cutting season despite offer of $1 million from generous donors

At 6:59 pm Monday evening, September 9, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) management issued a “take it or leave it” offer to the BSO Musicians which will be presented to the orchestra for a vote this evening, September 10. The proposal contained wage and benefit cuts of 20%. The federal mediators proposed an extension of negotiations […]

A Look Inside the New AFM Offices

Earlier this year, the AFM moved its headquarters offices in New York City from the sixth floor to the ninth floor at 1501 Broadway—also known as the Paramount Building because it served as the New York headquarters for Paramount Pictures.

Take a Look at Our New AFM Headquarters

The AFM headquarters office in New York moved into a new office space on the ninth floor at 1501 Broadway on April 1, 2019.

Congressional Update: HR 397, the Butch Lewis Act, Passes in the House

After markup in both the House Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, HR 397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act of 2019, often referred to as the Butch Lewis Act, was taken up on the floor of the US House of Representatives and overwhelmingly passed by a vote of 264 to 169, with 29 Republicans joining Democrats to advance the bill out of the House chamber.

EMSD Staff

The following EMSD “who’s who” puts faces with names and summarizes job responsibilities for our EMSD staff.

This Year’s EMSD Special Issue Is Extra Special

Welcome to this month’s issue of International Musician, which focuses on the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD)—the division of the AFM responsible for serving and protecting the interests of non-symphonic recording musicians.

Player Conferences Are Essential to the Promotion of Internal Member Involvement

ICSOM, ROPA, OCSM, TMA, together with the Recording Musicians Association (RMA), comprise five intermediate bodies within the AFM known as player conferences.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Members and Advocates Create New ‘Make Music’ Project

BSO musicians and advocates have developed and implemented a project called “Make Music with Baltimore Symphony Musicians.”

Piano Playing and Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is both a simple and complex issue. Carpal tunnel occurs when your median nerve squeezes and compresses at your wrist.