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


Health, Resources

Self-Help Strategies to Improve Mental Health

Long dimmed by the pandemic, lights are coming back on in symphony halls around the country. Clubs are reopening. Musicians are back on the road. But a complete industry recovery is likely more than a year away. The hardship of the last year and the uncertainty of the future are taking a toll on the […]

Dystonia Can Derail a Career

Researchers identify dystonia as a neurological disorder characterized by excessive muscle contractions that can result in involuntary, slower movements and abnormal postures. There are several different forms of dystonia, but focal dystonia affects one specific area of the body. This disorder can be disabling to musicians because it causes a loss of muscular control in […]

Sound Check: Using IEMs and Retraining Your Brain to Hear Safe Sound

A post-pandemic return to live music is an opportunity for musicians to re-evaluate hearing health—and to modulate audio levels to reduce the inherent risk of hearing impairment. After more than a year away from a typical concert venue—amid virtual performances—musicians have naturally adjusted their volume to a controlled listening regimen. According to Michael Santucci, Au.D., […]

When It Comes to Artistic Vision, Don’t Be Shortsighted

Musicians are susceptible to any number of performance-related injuries, including carpal tunnel syndrome, tinnitus, neck, back, and joint pain. But let’s face it, the eyes and ears do the heavy lifting in music performance. As a focus of health and wellness, though, the senses—especially vision—are often taken for granted. Focusing on small notes on a […]

After COVID-19, Some Patients Face Chronic Symptoms

With more patients complaining of lingering and chronic effects from COVID-19, experts say that care for long haulers requires new guidelines and an interdisciplinary approach. Though it primarily attacks the lungs and respiratory system, it is now clear that the virus can target almost any part of the body, including the heart, brain, and nervous system.

Hi-Tech Hearing Aids Make for Easy Listening

It’s no secret that loud music degrades hearing over time. Rock and blues icon Eric Clapton, who was famous for turning up the amp to 11, has opened up in recent years about his near deafness and tinnitus. Last year, Huey Lewis of Local 6 (San Francisco, CA) was diagnosed with Ménière’s disease, a disorder of […]

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 […]