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


Orchestra News

Oregon Symphony Extends Contract

Musicians of the Oregon Symphony have signed a one-year contract extension, through August 2015. The Oregon Symphony Association recently hired a new president and the musicians wanted him to have time to become more familiar with the organization before negotiating a new contract. Negotiations are expected to begin in spring or summer 2015. Musicians have […]

North Carolina Symphony to Receive Salary Increases

At the end of June, musicians of the North Carolina Symphony ratified a two-year agreement that will be effective through August 2016. The season length will remain at 39 weeks and musicians will receive modest salary increases each year. Whereas language in the previous contract stated that the orchestra would make best efforts to fill […]

Local 655 Urges Boycott of South Florida Symphony

The South Florida Musicians Association encourages members of its community to boycott the South Florida Symphony (SFS). The symphony is delinquent in paying wages to its musicians; many have yet to be paid for any of the work they performed in 2014 and only recently received payment for the work they performed in November 2013. […]

Metropolitan Opera Reaches Tentative Agreement

Musicians and management of The Metropolitan Opera reached a tentative agreement the morning of August 18 after an all-night bargaining session, avoiding a lockout threatened by opera management. Federal mediators stepped in late in July. In August, Eugene Kelin, co-founder of KPS Capital Partners, was brought in to conduct an independent financial analysis. A tentative […]

Building Power Through Social Media

by Matt Plummer, Organizer, AFM Organizing & Education Division In the last decade, overall use of social media has skyrocketed. People spend almost 2.5 hours a day on average using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Local 1000 Members Honored with Joe Hill Award

For the past 36 years, labor-minded musicians and other artists have gathered at the Great Labor Arts Exchange to celebrate creativity and solidarity. It is a weekend of workshops, films, discussion, poetry, jam sessions, and open mikes, sponsored by the Labor Heritage Foundation. At this year’s gathering, Local 1000 (nongeographic) members Pat Wynne of San […]

AFM Takes Leadership Role in Historic Instrument Carry-on Talks

by Alfonso M. Pollard, AFM Legislative-Political Director and Diversity Director Instrument Carry-on Talks The AFM recently participated in historic instrument carry-on talks at the Department of Transportation (DOT). Meanwhile, the ivory debate shows some progress.

Local 4 Partners with Percussion Marketing Council to Bring Music Making to Students

May was International Drum Month and an apt time to launch a collaboration between the Local 4 (Cleveland, OH) Music Fund and the Percussion Marketing Council (PMC). The Rainey Institute in downtown Cleveland provided the connection and venue for hosting the first two performances of four special presentations funded in-part through the PMC’s Percussion in […]

Symphonic Workplace Safety Issues: Part 2

Read part one of the Symphonic Workplace Safety Issues here.  Backstage Lighting Conditions: Colorado Springs Philharmonic by Nathan Kahn, AFM Symphonic Services Division Negotiator: The orchestra’s CBA states in part: “… The Employer shall ensure that adequate lighting is maintained at all services, backstage and on stage. Maintaining adequate lighting shall mean having either full stage lighting […]

Symphonic Workplace Safety Issues: Sound and Lighting Levels

by Nathan Kahn, AFM Symphonic Services Division Negotiator The symphonic workplace, be it on stage or in the pit, presents a variety of hazards to musicians. High decibel sound levels are an ongoing issue for symphonic musicians, but certain concerts have evolved into a much more dangerous situation as Nashville Symphony and Local 257 (Nashville, […]