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


Member Profiles, Recent News

Cooking Up Ideas to Help Colleagues

Musicians Cook!, the cookbook she compiled with the help of some 300 other musicians—many also members of Local 802—is a labor of love created to help New York City-area colleagues facing dire straits. But it’s just the latest philanthropic endeavor for Youngstein, who has always believed in the power of giving back.

Symphony+ Equals Streaming Success

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) won two awards from The Capital Gazette’s Style magazine Best of Anne Arundel County (MD) for: Best Virtual Event and Best Interactive Entertainment for Symphony+, the live-streaming program broadcast of performances into listeners’ homes instead of at Maryland Hall. “To launch our new season in 2020, we had to reimagine the complete […]

Virtual Holiday Variety Show Wins Regional Emmys

The variety show Virtual Holiday Spectacular (VHS) earned the musicians of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Indiana Symphony Orchestra three regional Emmys. Spearheaded by Andy Lott, principal trumpet of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Local 58 (Fort Wayne, IN), the event was nominated for four Emmys in the 52nd Annual Lower Great Lakes Chapter, and […]

Los Lobos Recognized as NEA 2021 National Heritage Fellows

The recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts 2021 National Heritage Fellowships, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts, includes California-based musicians Los Lobos of Los Angeles. The lifetime honor awards of $25,000 are given in recognition of both artistic excellence and efforts to sustain cultural traditions for future generations. Los […]

Ring in the Summer: Make Music Day Is June 21!

Make Music Day, a daylong musical celebration, attracts every form of music and every kind of musician, amateur and professional alike, from the concert hall to neighborhood events and everything in between. Make Music Day is an open invitation for people everywhere to share the joy of making music on the longest day of the year, […]

Wrapping Up a Tumultuous Fiscal Year; Diving Headlong into the Next

As International Musician went to press, the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund was finalizing the numbers for the fiscal year that began April 1, 2020 and ended March 31, 2021. This 2021 fiscal year is the year upon which the July 1, 2021 regular distribution of secondary market residuals will be determined.  What a year those 12 months turned out to […]

A Win for Local 293 and Hamilton, Ontario: Musician Fair Wage Policy Approved

In February, the Hamilton, Ontario, city council overwhelmingly passed a new policy that guarantees fair wages for musicians at all city-funded events. During the pandemic, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger put together a task force on economic recovery, which included the music industry as a separate sector for the first time. If the city wanted to […]

MPTF Announces Second Annual Music Family Scholarship

A scholarship fund using the assets of the recording industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) encourages the children of professional musicians to pursue higher education and become leaders in their chosen fields. This year, the MPTF will again grant $100,000 in scholarship funds to qualified applicants throughout North America. “The pandemic has hit our profession […]

MPTF Supports Local 586 Musicians and Arizona Arts Community

Gabriel Bey of Local 586 (Phoenix, AZ), longtime arts promoter and union committee outreach chair, came up with an idea to bolster the Phoenix arts community during the pandemic. With a grant from the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF), he and Sandra Bassett, also of Local 586, created a special live-streamed concert series to celebrate […]

American Rescue Plan Includes COBRA Benefits

The American Rescue Plan includes a provision that grants a 100% subsidy for six months of health care premiums for COBRA-eligible people who lose their jobs or eligibility for employer coverage for the period from April 1 to September 30, 2021. Under the law, those employees will not have to pay any premiums for six months. […]