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

Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra Ratifies Agreements

After several months of negotiations, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra ratified four-year contracts with both its employers: the Kennedy Center and the Washington National Opera (WNO). In the Kennedy Center agreement, the weekly performance scales for ballet will continue to match the National Symphony Orchestra’s (NSO) weekly scales throughout the contract, which include increases […]

Minnesota Orchestra Loses Music Director

As a result of the ongoing musician lockout, Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä resigned from his position October 1, after orchestra management canceled scheduled concerts at Carnegie Hall. Vänskä had warned that he would leave the orchestra if it was not able begin rehearsing in time to save those concerts. This was a devastating […]

The Money-Go-Round: Musicians, Big Tech, and Piracy

by Adam Witkowski, Director of Organizing for Local 802 (New York City) The following article was reprinted from the October 2013 issue of Allegro, the magazine of AFM Local 802 (New York City). For more background, see The fight against music piracy has often been a battle waged against regular people. “Don’t pirate!” we’re […]

Why the AFM Should Care About the Government Shutdown

The AFM cares deeply about promoting growth and innovation within our industry. Our careers are linked to copyright protection, performance rights, grants to artists and arts organizations, worker protections through the NLRB, and a host of other government programs that supplement our professional efforts and define us as workers. Union resources help us drive the […]

2014 Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit Discusses Metadata

by Bruce Fife, AFM International Vice President and President of Local 99 (Portland, OR) fairTrade Music S When Future of Music Coalition (FMC) held its October Policy Summit in Washington, DC, the top minds in music, policy, technology, and law convened to talk about our industry, the directions it’s taking, and how we might guide […]

Don’t Mourn: Organize!

by John O’Connor, Local 802 Recording Vice President and Chair of the AFM Organizing Committee The following article was reprinted from the September 2013 issue of Allegro, the magazine of AFM Local 802 (New York City). For more background, see Adversity is often our best teacher. The case can be made that this is […]