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


Officer Columns, Secretary-Treasurer

Nascent Signs of Recovery

While it’s still very early to make predictions regarding AFM finances, there are some early indications that we are at the beginning of a recovery. Though only a small percentage of new members join online, the online joins are showing a return to pre-pandemic levels. This is not necessarily a reflection of a similar return […]

Paying the Price for Union Strength

At the risk of being repetitive, I must lament at hearing nonmember musicians (and a disturbing number of members) parroting the corporate slogan: “perhaps there once was a need for unions, but not anymore.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Giving any credence to that statement is a recipe for disaster. Corporations, or any […]

Respect Yourself by Protecting Your Intellectual Property

As technology and the music industry evolve, so must we. It can be hard to look ahead while you are trying to make the present happen, but it is essential to try. How a musician makes a living these days can be very different than in the past. Rather than having one main gig, many […]

MPTF: Unlimited Opportunities for Local Recruitment and Retention

I was a 19-year-old college student when I first came in direct contact with the American Federation of Musicians. Of course, I’d heard about the musicians’ union and how it stood for good faith and fair dealing in the music business between musicians and unscrupulous employers, managers, and booking agents. As a young freelance musician, […]

Perseverance in Organizing Leads to Power for Employees

One of the most challenging tasks we have as a union is to organize. It takes commitment, resources, patience, perseverance, and tenacity. Organizing is the life-blood of a strong union. Without new members and new bargaining units, there is a slow trickle of declining membership. As a union loses members, there is a loss of […]

Silly Rabbits and Wily Coyotes

Bill C11, the online streaming bill, passed its third reading in the House of Commons and has now landed in the Senate for approval. If passed, the bill would compel streaming platforms, such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Spotify, and others to add more Canadian content, or in the wording of the bill, “contribute in […]

Another Sour Note from the Supremes

The following is based on my own opinions and is not meant to represent the opinions of our union administration or the AFM International Executive Board (IEB). While I suspect some will frown upon my commenting on the recent decision by the Supreme Court, I am of the view that the union movement is a […]

Pamphlet B and Short Engagement Tour Agreements Ratified, Divisive Issues Remain

I am pleased to report that the Federation has completed discussions with representatives of the Broadway League and Disney Theatrical Productions for an extension of the Pamphlet B and Short Engagement Touring (SET) Theatrical Musicals agreement, which includes a 3% wage increase retroactive to April 25, 2022. The extension was promptly ratified and approved by musicians currently working under the agreements.

2022 AFL-CIO Convention Supports Music Fairness and Artists’ Rights

The 29th AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 12-15. The AFL-CIO is a federation of 57 affiliated unions with 12.5 million members. Our AFM delegation to the convention consisted of AFM President Ray Hair; Lovie Smith-Wright of Local 65-699 (Houston, TX); and me. Preconvention events included an AFL-CIO Unity Summit and a Global […]

Time to Inspire and Organize

What an amazing time this is, complete with dramatic challenges and remarkable possibilities. Plague, war, and social and economic upheaval coexist with a real desire to change the work-life balance and find meaning beyond accumulation. There seems to be an enhanced awareness of individual needs, which must be balanced against others’ needs. We are in […]