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.

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Executive Board Members, Officer Columns

Why the AFM Player Conferences Are Important

by Terryl Jares, International Executive Board Member and President of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL) This issue of the International Musician features reports from the AFM player conferences that took place during July and August. These are extremely important organizations within our AFM. From 1962 through 1995, the five player conferences were established and obtained recognition […]


Time to Ask “The Question”

by Dave Pomeroy, International Executive Board Member and President of Local 257 (Nashville, TN) Over the past few decades, even before the pandemic, almost everything about the way we make records has been transformed. Hit recordings are being made in bedrooms and basements as well as big commercial studios. Music consumers have more choices than […]


Build Back with a Strong Union

As the US and Canada begin to re-emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, the road to an economic recovery will be long and arduous. Recessions hurt low-income and middle-income families the most, dragging down wages and decimating the savings of the working class. Without targeted solutions by governments, the effects of this pandemic will be long […]


“We the Willing”

We’ve all been through a particularly rough year and a half, but the situation is improving, people are gathering, and work is coming back. It’s exhilarating to reconnect with colleagues and bandmates and perform in front of live audiences again. But there’s something else: we have to remember that the “good old days” were not so good. Many workers struggled to cover basic needs, even while working long hours providing essential services. We have an opportunity to change the narrative, to build power and create a better future. I firmly believe that musicians and music making are an essential part of achieving this generational correction.


As We All Go Back to Work, Know Your Value

During this time of lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders, musicians and music teachers are finding creative ways to teach and earn income.


‘Right to Work’ Really Means ‘Right to Work for Less’

The post-WWII legislation known as “Right to Work,” which is still on the books in 28 states, is one of the great misnomers of all time. It sounds kind of noble, but what it really means is “Right to Work for Less.” In other words, you have the right to work for as little as […]


Health and Safety of Musicians is Paramount for Return to Work

It is critically important that we engage with employers on this bedrock principle of unionism—workplace safety.


Diversity Builds Strength

Generally, in February, during Black History Month, we look back and honor great Black leaders—we remember their words, we reflect on their impact, we create a space where for one whole month we recognize the achievements of Black Americans to our society and to our world. But quickly thereafter, we go back to business as […]


Now is the Time to Unite, Not to Unravel

We are in the most dangerous moment of my lifetime, but the reason is not the obvious one you may think. The real danger is that we lose our will and give up. Instead, let’s use this time to do our internal work, build strength, and dream. I draw strength from my local, AFM 105 […]


Stay-At-Home Requirements Promote Even More Creativity

During this time of lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders, musicians and music teachers are finding creative ways to teach and earn income.








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