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

Ken Shirk – AFM International Secretary-Treasurer

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 […]

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. 

Union Benefits: More than Just CBAs

While a prime reason to belong to the union is collective bargaining agreements, there are a number of other advantages to belonging and participating in union benefits. Annually, I review some of the programs available to our members. The AFM is part of the Union Plus, Liberty Mutual, and Mercer programs. The Union Plus Credit […]

Bidding Farewell to Ray Petch

AFM Vice President from Canada Alan Willaert and I recently attended the funeral of Vice President from Canada Emeritus Ray Petch, 80, who passed away February 1, after a brief illness. Ray served with us in many capacities. He had many passions, but his one true love was music. Ray spent most of his years […]

BEA Reports on How Arts Sector Impacts GDP

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) have released prototype estimates from the new Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA). This is the first federal effort to look at the arts and cultural sector’s impact on gross domestic product (GDP) and provides national estimates for the […]

Getting a Top Hit Isn’t What It Used to Be

It has been a long time since I went to a record bin looking for the hottest new single, or since I took one of our own band’s new releases to various radio stations, trying to convince the DJ or station manager that they should play our tune.

AFM and Union Plus Have Your Back

Whether it is negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music or securing benefits such as healthcare and pension; AFM is always working hard for you and your families. But did you know that Union Plus is also working hard for you and your family? Through our strategic partnership with the Union Plus programs, active […]

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