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


Music Business

Local 94 Teams Up with Arts Center, Taps into New Membership

Tammy Kirk, secretary-treasurer of Local 94 (Tulsa, OK), has some sound advice for locals looking to increase membership. Look beyond the music venue and the local roster to the community at large and create sources for new membership. Look to build strong relationships with your community’s arts centers, its music institutions, and regional universities—all of […]

Dealing with Taxation for Canadian Musicians

–Tax advice for informational purposes only, not intended to be a substitute for advice from your personal tax professional. En Francais Tax time is almost here again. This article outlines ways in which you can diminish your tax liability and take advantage of the many deductions available to Canadian musicians. Knowing what expenses you can […]

The Five Biggest Tax Mistakes Musicians and Bands Make

by Alan Friedman, CPA, Partner, Friedman, Kannenberg & Company, P.C. As with most professions, there are two sides to the business of making music: the artist side and the business side. While most gigging musicians and bands possess the creative knowledge to make a living in the art of making music, some may lack the […]

How to Break into the Music Scene:

Tips from the Pros on Subbing As musicians return to work and venues large and small begin to reopen across the US and Canada, many of us are returning to live performances and gigs in coffee houses, clubs, stages, and concert halls. Nothing beats the feeling of returning to making music with our familiar bandmates. […]

Musician Websites Are More Relevant than Ever

In this day and age, musicians often wonder, “Now that I have so much access to social media, do I need a website?” According to industry insiders, the answer is a resounding yes—arguably now more than ever. Your website will outlast social media trends. For instance, many musicians invested time in MySpace only to lose […]

When It Comes to Air Travel, Preparation Is Key to Keeping Your Instrument Safe

Commercial air travel with a musical instrument can be a challenging and nerve-wracking experience. Handing over luggage is one thing, but a valuable instrument is quite another. With advance preparation, that is, reviewing airline regulations and following these guidelines, the process can go much more smoothly—and reduce your stress in this new age of air […]

Musicians Return to the Pit as Touring Shows Reopen

by Tino Gagliardi, AFM Director of Theatre, Touring, and Booking Division It’s been a long time coming, but after 18 months, Broadway’s touring shows have finally reopened. Officially, the pandemic has not been declared “over,” but touring musicians, on-location musicians, stagehands, and production crews are returning to work. In 2020, 23 AFM-covered touring productions were […]

Electronic Replacement: A Challenge for All Musicians

by Heather Boehm, Theatre Musicians Association President and Member of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL) As box-office hit musicals return, we’re thankful for the artistically fulfilling repertoire and stable paycheck they provide for musicians. However, we are being challenged as our theater contracts must address modern music software and programming technology¬ (devices such as KeyComp, Ableton, […]

Grassroots Research Yields Results in Recording Contracts

by Marc Sazer, Recording Musicians Association President and Member of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) and Local 802 (New York City) Research. Organizing. Contract compliance. Collective bargaining. These are all inextricably intertwined, and fundamental to our union—any labor union. The AFL-CIO, UCLA Labor Studies Center, and Labor Studies School at Cornell all focus on research […]

David vs. Goliath: Musicians Take on HBO—and Win

When it comes to labor organizing, it takes hard work and collective action to win. But often it only takes one person to start that change in motion. In March, cellist Theo Zimmerman of Local 802 (New York City), one of a group of musicians from all over the Northeast, was contacted about several days […]