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



Spark Your Musical Creativity with Breathing and Essential Oils

Creativity goes far beyond your artistic outlets—it’s about doing something meaningful, giving you a sense of purpose. Acting on your creativity comes with a bonus side effect of living longer, because being creative reduces stress and keeps your brain active. Not that you needed those stats to want to continue to love and foster your […]

If You Can Learn to Play an Instrument, You Can Learn Mindfulness

As I approach my 50th year, I have decided to learn how to play the ukulele. It does not come naturally, but I have the mindfulness to keep practicing and to be kind to myself when I want to quit. What Do I Mean by Mindfulness? Mindfulness, according to Jon Kabat-Zin, founder of MBSR (mindfulness-based […]

Sound in Tai Chi: How to Use Resonance to Detox your Organs

I don’t need to remind a musician how important resonance is. As a latecomer to music, I first grasped the importance of resonance in my high school physics class when we watched the famous video of the collapse of the Tacoma-Narrows bridge. Hitting the bridge at just the right frequency, the massive undulations eventually caused […]

Building Resilience in the Face of COVID-19

The coronavirus has altered our lives and caused significant stress that challenges each of us in different ways—emotionally, socially, financially, and psychologically. The key to maintaining emotional stability and a positive mood state while meeting these challenges is to enhance coping by building resilience. Here are some basic definitions to ground our understanding of our […]

Performance Preparation and Enhancement During COVID

Musicians are facing a struggle during 2020 and into 2021. Gigs are gone. Bars are closed. Tours have ended. Teaching Zoom lessons is the new norm. Everything about the gigging life has been disrupted, and for some, that may mean a disruption in self-care. How do you maintain your body condition while enduring the pandemic? […]

Touring May Have Stopped, but Mental Health Issues Remain for Touring Musicians

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted more aspects of the music industry than just recording and performing; it has also interrupted a scientific study aimed at better understanding and therefore treating mental health issues affecting touring musicians. After six months on hiatus, however, the Tour Health Research Initiative recently restarted collecting data through its online survey, […]

Nonprofit Offers Mental Health and Wellness Resources to Musicians

As everyone knows all too well, the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the music industry. Whether it is from the prohibition of live music in bars and restaurants, the furloughing of orchestral players, or the shuttering of recording studios, musicians have been walking a high wire for seven months. Everyone has been wondering where their next […]

Second Round of Performing Arts Aerosol Study Produces Encouraging Preliminary Results

An aerosol study commissioned by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), and a coalition of more than 125 performing arts organizations has generated a second set of preliminary results that provides further optimism for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on performing arts activities. Preceded by […]

Wind Musicians’ Risk Assessment in the Time of COVID-19

by Adam T. Schwalje MD, DMA and Henry T. Hoffman MD COVID-19 is a severe and dangerous disease. Its heart-wrenching infectivity and virulence hit home for many musicians, as we learned of the several choirs which were affected by superspreading events early in the pandemic. One was in Amsterdam, where 102 of 130 participants wound […]

How Understanding Your Temperament Can Help You Cope With COVID-19 Stress

Stress has two elements: an external stimulus, and our response to that stimulus. Here are some tips to help lower that stress during COVID-19.