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

Grievance and Arbitration: Powerful Tools for the Workplace

by Joe Parente, AFM International Executive Board Member and President of Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA) Grievance and arbitration are powerful tools for defending a member in the workplace. Most collective bargaining agreements contain a grievance and arbitration provision. For the most part, these provisions come into play when there is a dismissal, either for “just […]

Jingles, Games, Relocation and Symphonic Media

As you know, much of my time this year has been consumed by negotiations toward agreements covering the services of our union members when recording commercial spot announcements (jingles), video games, and in symphonic electronic media. At the same time, I have been busy evaluating options for the relocation of Federation headquarters when our existing […]

More is Better When it Comes to Membership

Let’s talk about membership. I’m often asked, “Why should I be a member of the musicians’ union?” I’ve probably made the answer too complicated. My mind races through all of the different things that the local is working on, and then all of the things the union is doing, and try to tailor my answer […]

Carroll Bailey: A Teacher Remembered

A few evenings ago, I left the stage after Mahler’s Third Symphony and found a message waiting for me with the news that Carroll Bailey, Sr., a former member of Local 125 (Norfolk, VA), had died at age 91. I could not help but slump in tears.

Changes at the Canadian Labour Congress

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), Canada’s version of the AFL-CIO, representing 3.3 million unionized workers, held its 27th national convention May 5-9. It was the largest convention ever, with almost 5,000 delegates registered.

AFSCME Wants Your Help Getting the Word Out That ‘Unions Work’

The smart people at AFSCME have done the research. They’ve seen the numbers and the evidence. It’s very clear: unions work. Pretty much everyone benefits when workers have a strong voice and can actively participate in collective bargaining. Now AFSCME wants your help. They’ve created the tools to help spread this message far and wide. Can […]

Relocation: A Decades-Old Work in Progress, Part 1

As you know, the 99th Convention adopted a financial package that will raise $1.2 million in additional revenue annually for the Federation, from 2014 onward. The delegates debated and eventually affirmed the financial measures through a simple voice vote—bypassing the time-consuming roll-call vote process that has historically accompanied convention financial resolutions. This was seen as […]

Develop Your Art into a Business

Musicians are among the most gifted, focused, and hardworking individuals you will ever encounter, yet many of them find themselves struggling professionally from time to time.

AFM’s Financial Health is Restored

Our financials are being prepared for the annual report. AFM members will be able to read the 2013 Annual Report and the LM reports at in early May. 

Restructured Local Conferences Would Benefit Organizing Efforts

One of the many important jobs of the International Executive Board (IEB) is to take up recommendations and resolutions that were referred to us during the last convention of delegates.