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, Officer Columns, Organizing

Theory of the UNIonVERSE

Everywhere I look there are cusps! It seems that if we can just … press on … a little … further … we’re going to be able to look back and see how all of the struggles of the last number of years have led to identifiable improvements.

Player Conferences — What Are They, and What’s Going on with TMA?

Occasionally, I have gone to speak to college music classes about the union, player conferences, and specifically the Theatre Musicians Association (TMA).

Candidates Seeking Election for AFM Office

An important part of each AFM Convention is the nomination and election of international officers who will lead the organization during the next three years. Also elected are delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention. Article 19, Section 2 of the AFM Bylaws provides for the publication of campaign statements by those candidates who have declared their […]

A Glimpse of ROPA

One main catalyst for starting ROPA three decades ago was to ensure there was a voice for musicians of regional orchestras within the AFM.

Everyone’s Voice Counts: Is Your Local Represented?

In two months, the AFM will hold its 100th Convention in Las Vegas. Aside from being a historic event for the Federation, the convention will once again afford the opportunity for delegates to help shape the future of our union. So is your Local going to be represented?

100th Convention is Open to All Members

Ever wonder what takes place at an AFM Convention? Ever wanted to watch your local delegates in action? This year, from June 20-23, AFM delegates will again gather in Las Vegas, Nevada, to determine the direction of the AFM for the next three years. Any AFM member may attend.

Celebrating Unity at 40th OCSM Conference

This year marked the 40th OCSM conference. Our meeting day consisting of two topics: the changing media landscape in Canada due to cutbacks at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the ever-relevant topic of making the AFM more beneficial to freelance musicians.

A Union Win for Olney Theatre Musicians

After a six-month campaign, musicians at Olney Theatre in Maryland overwhelmingly voted to unionize in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election. Musicians are now working with AFM Local 161-710 (Washington, DC), preparing for their first collective bargaining agreement. The victory is an important first step in Local 161-710’s organizing plan.

Toledo ROPA Conference Brings in Local Labor Experts

The 31st annual Regional Orchestra Players’ Association (ROPA) Conference convened last summer in Toledo, Ohio, at the Grand Plaza Hotel. The conference provided a terrific learning opportunity for the representatives of our 86 member orchestras from around the nation.

ICSOM Delegates Gather in Philadelphia

This year’s International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) Conference, held August 26-29 at the Sonesta Philadelphia Hotel, celebrated advocacy and diversity, and provided labor law education and important negotiating and contract administration ideas and information.