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


International Musician, Member Profiles, On the Cover

Julie Landsman: Guiding Light for Women Brass Players

Horn player Julie Landsman of Locals 802 (New York City) and 47 (Los Angeles, CA) boasts a decades-long legacy of pioneering achievement in a male-dominated field.

Performer Keeps the Fun in Music for Kids

After nearly half a century of music education, Allan “Al” Hirsch of Local 76-494 (Seattle, WA) has firm and well-informed opinions about the best way to approach it. His first rule is to keep it fun. “Basically, I teach singing to children,” he says. “Kids learn how to do that naturally, but over time they […]

January Cover Ken Casey

Ken Casey: Old School Radio Needs a New Model

Among the supporters of the American Music Fairness Act (AMFA) is bassist Ken Casey, member of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) and longtime frontman of the Celtic punk band the Dropkick Murphys. To sign the American Music Fairness Act petition, visit

Leslie DeShazor: Variety Is the Spice of Music

The words “jazz” and “viola” aren’t two things you often hear in the same sentence. But busy working musicians need to find ways to keep things fresh, which can frequently lead them down some unconventional paths. Violist Leslie DeShazor of Local 5 (Detroit, MI) has enthusiastically embraced a wide variety of these paths, keeping her […]

Jeeyoon Kim: Pianist Reinvents the Onstage Performance

Jeeyoon Kim’s performances are unique among concert pianists. She walks onto the stage and up to a microphone. In a short, poetic introduction she invites the audience to go on a journey with her. There are no programs to leaf through during the concert; these are handed out at the end. Instead, Kim delivers the […]

Charlie St. Cyr-Paul: Touring Off the Beaten Path

Judging from the logistics alone, it seems unlikely that someone could make a long-term successful career touring with an instrument that weighs over four tons. But that is exactly what carillonneur (i.e., one who plays the carillon) Charlie St. Cyr-Paul of Local 389 (Orlando, FL) has been doing—and to great acclaim—for years. It’s fitting that […]

Alana Wiesing: Timpanist Hurdles Traditional Roles

Alana Wiesing is one of the few Black women timpanists to hold a principal position in a symphony orchestra. She hopes to change that and encourage others to break barriers—and the proverbial glass ceiling. A member of Local 33 (Tucson, AZ), Wiesing plays principal timpani in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and also serves as an […]

Recognizing a Lifetime of Continuing Service

As if 53 years manning the principal tuba chair of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) weren’t enough, along with being artistic director of both the ASO’s brass quintet and the Atlanta Brass Society, Michael Moore of Local 148-462 (Atlanta, GA) has dedicated most of those years to serving his colleagues in a dizzying number and […]

Ronnie Milsap Cover

Ronnie Milsap: Still Going Strong­

Iconic Musician Ronnie Milsap Is Ready to Hit the Road Legendary musician Ronnie Milsap of Local 257 (Nashville, TN) discovered his love for performing early on. By age 11, he was already a favorite at his family’s church. “I grew up in the Primitive Baptist Church and I started singing in church pretty early,” he […]

Former Detroit Symphony Fellow Embraces the Suzuki Life

You’ll often hear Suzuki teachers say that it’s not just a method, it’s more a philosophy of life. The Suzuki Method, founded in the post-WWII years by Japanese teacher Shinichi Suzuki, utilizes the concept of “character first, ability second,” with a goal of embracing the whole child and developing character rather than just the mastering […]