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 www.afm.org/join.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE AFM

Electronic Media Services

Film vs TV: How to Know Which Agreement to Use

by John Painting, AFM Electronic Media Services Division Assistant Director Let’s say you’re approached to contract musicians for a project that is going to end up on a basic cable network, like TBS or Lifetime, and the producer is asking about a potential budget for the musicians. You head to your local’s website and the […]


Sidelining in Motion Picture Films

by Matt Allen, AFM Electronic Media Services Division Contract Administrator In films produced all across the United States and Canada, musicians are regularly employed by film producers for sideline work. Sidelining is when a musician is engaged to “mime” the playing of an instrument on camera, typically to a prerecording that is played back on […]


How to Future-Proof Your Music

by Carl Schilde, Canadian Federation of Musicians, Contract and Licensing Coordinator Since the dawn of the recording age, tens upon thousands of union contracts have been safely stowed away in dusty storage bunkers beneath the ice sheets of the northern Yukon—all in perfect chronological and alphabetical order. This is just so that, in the year […]


Getting Paid for Location Recordings Made While on Tour

by Pat Varriale, AFM Electronic Media Services Division Director and Assistant to the President One of the many types of projects the EMSD is involved with is musician recordings that take place at venues in the United States and are ultimately released as sound recordings.  The following narrative describes one case for which the EMSD […]


Work Under AFM Contracts Come Up Big During the Pandemic

During the pandemic, when very little original work has taken place, the resolve of musicians that recorded older material under AFM conditions is underscored. With the impact of COVID-19 shutting down original electronic media work, employers began looking for ways to produce new programming mixed with original content. As an example, with the canceling of […]


Theatrical, TV Film, and Made for New Media Motion Picture Sideline Work

In recent years, there has been an increase in the amount of sideline work across the US and Canada for television and motion picture productions. Adding to this growth are Made for New Media productions. Because of the diversity of shooting locations, in towns and cities both large and small, I regularly receive calls from […]


Internet Streaming in the COVID Era

When the world came crashing to a standstill in March, the music world didn’t stop with it; it just shifted to a different set of platforms. And sure, if all you’ve known before is the tour bus, live venues, and the traditional recording studio, it might feel like the world as you know it did […]


EMSD and SSD – Working Together to Cover All the Bases

Over the years, the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD) and the Symphonic Services Division (SSD) have consulted on certain electronic media projects involving symphony, opera, ballet, or chamber orchestras. This is because some projects have a tendency to “crossover” from a true symphonic nature to non-symphonic. There are usually several factors in determining when an […]


Welcome to the 2020 EMSD Special Issue

Welcome to this month’s issue of the International Musician, which focuses on the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD)—the division of the AFM charged with serving the interests of non-symphonic recording musicians. (Symphonic orchestras are handled solely by the AFM Symphonic Services Division – SSD). The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many aspects of the AFM. Electronic […]


Meet the EMSD Staff 2020

As we so frequently get caught up in day-to-day business and the pursuit of agreements and payments, it can be difficult to make time to get to know each other. The following EMSD “who’s who” puts faces with names and summarizes job responsibilities for our EMSD staff. West Coast Office Aksinia Dintcheva: Aksinia is part […]








NEWS