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


Recent News

Mellon Foundation Increases Funding for National Alliance for Audition Support

The National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS)—a partnership between the Sphinx Organization, New World Symphony, and the League of American Orchestras—has been awarded a grant of $1.95 million by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Created in 2018, NAAS is an unprecedented national and field-wide initiative with the long-term goal of increasing diversity in American orchestras. […]

BSO Foundation Launches Mentoring Project

The Baltimore Symphony Musicians Foundation has launched a new program dedicated to teaching and mentoring young Black and Hispanic/Latinx students who are committed to study music. The Teaching and Mentoring Program for Orchestra (TEMPO) will pair students with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) musicians to help students refine their skills and master the repertoire, while also […]

Springfield Symphony Orchestra Musicians Will Use Settlement to Stage Concerts

On January 4, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced a monetary settlement of $276,406 to resolve a complaint against the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO). The organization violated federal labor law by breaching the terms of its last contract with SSO’s 71 musicians. The Orchestra Musicians’ Committee offered to drop all charges against SSO and […]

2021 YEAR IN REVIEW — In Unity, There Is Strength

January The Riot on Capitol Hill On January 6, a violent mob of President Donald Trump supporters sought to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election by disrupting the joint session of Congress assembled to formalize President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. On January 7, AFM President Ray Hair issued this statement: “The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and […]

President Biden on the Worker Shortage: Yeah, Pay Them More!

While listening to the news on June 24, a sound clip from President Biden’s press briefing that day on economic policy caught my attention. In that clip, he said to the pool of reporters, “You were asking me, ‘Guess what? Employers can’t find workers! I said, ‘Yeah, pay them more!’ This is an employee’s bargaining […]

Second Annual MPTF Scholarships Awarded

The Recording Industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF) has announced the recipients of the 2021 Music Family Scholarships. The 101 winners will share over $100,000 in awards for their editorial reflections on the unity and inclusivity live music brings to their communities across North America. The MPTF established this scholarship during a time of great […]

Strike Averted as IATSE and Studios Reach Tentative Contract Deal

Just hours before it was scheduled, a strike was averted last month by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), with the union reaching a tentative three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). “Everything achieved was because you, the members, stood up and gave us the power to change […]

New Bill Includes Tax Break for Union Members

As part of the new $3.5 trillion budget plan, labor groups are pushing lawmakers to include a provision that would allow workers to deduct the cost of union dues from their taxable income. Such a tax break could reduce the cost of union membership and encourage more workers to join unions.  One union source says […]

This Year’s EMSD Special Focus

by Pat Varriale, AFM Electronic Media Services Division Director and Assistant to the President The Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD) welcomes you to this month’s issue of the International Musician. I am extremely pleased with this year’s EMSD special issue. Our division is dedicated to prioritizing the interests of the musicians we have been charged […]

Moving from Transactional to Transformative Unionism

New Vision of Unionism in the City of Brotherly Love & Sisterly Affection In order for the AFM to move forward as a whole, progress often needs to start at the local level. Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA) is an example of how transforming a single local can exert positive influence across an entire community. The […]