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

New Strain Adds to Complexity of Lyme Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic and health officials from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, report the discovery of a new species of bacteria (Borrelia mayonii) that causes Lyme disease. Until now, Borrelia burgdorferi was the only species believed to cause Lyme disease in North America. Scientists first […]

Take the Stage with Confidence: Strategies to Overcome Stage Fright 

It’s a musician’s dream to play to a packed house. Yet for many, it comes with a cost. Paralyzing anxiety, often called stage fright, can derail concentration and sabotage your ability to play well. The autonomic nervous system emits a rush of adrenaline to prepare your body for a perceived threat, called a fight or […]

Identifying Rotator Cuff Injury and Pain

When it comes to shoulder strain, even musicians are not spared. Rotator cuff injuries are common among athletes, such as baseball players, who make powerful throws, and swimmers and tennis players who continually use overhead motions. Likewise, musicians are liable to incur tears because of overuse. Shoulder pain is one of the most frequent musculoskeletal complaints. […]

Strategies to Reduce Inflammation and Feel Better

Acute inflammation is the immune system’s appropriate response to sudden trauma, injury, or bacteria. To begin healing, your body sends inflammatory cells to the site of the injury. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, means that your body continues sending inflammatory cells, even when there is no foreign substance to fight. This overactive immune response—when antibodies mistakenly attack body tissues—can lead to the development of autoimmune diseases.

ASI Audio System

New Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Agreement Adds Hearing Protection for Orchestra Musicians

Under the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra’s August 2021 collective bargaining agreement, audiology visits and custom earplugs are included for every musician. 

Regular Dental Checkups Keep Chops in Tip-Top Shape

Teeth grinding, temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ), muscle cramps, dry mouth, cold sores, and calluses are all potential problems for wind musicians, which may be aggravated by performance. Repetitive movement, excessive practice, and stress can cause dental and orofacial problems. It is not uncommon for musicians to experience TMJ, muscle strain, or focal dystonia (failure of […]

Practicing Yoga Makes for Perfect Technique

Beyond its physical health benefits, yoga does wonders for stress, concentration, and even performance anxiety. There’s no need for pretzel-like contortions to reap the benefits. Movements are accessible and every pose can be modified for ease and comfort. Performing creates stress, whether onstage or in an audition. Rehearsing for long periods, bending and stretching limbs […]

Don’t Overlook the Obvious: Keep an Eye on Your Vision

On average, most people spend over seven hours a day looking at a screen. All that screen time puts them at risk for digital eye strain (DES), a group of problems that include tired eyes and blurred vision. It’s also a typical complaint of professional musicians. The eyes are not meant to repetitively scan the […]

On the Stage or on the Court, Tennis Elbow Causes Pain

Tennis players may have earned the title for this painful condition, but tennis elbow is a common problem triggered by a tense grip on any tool or instrument. Combined with repetitive movement, the strain can cause swelling of the tendons that bend the wrist backward, away from the palm. Strenuous overuse, which results in tension […]

Releasing Tension and Becoming Balanced with the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique addresses inefficient habits of movement and patterns of accumulated tension that interfere with our innate ability to move easily. In his book, Body Learning, Michael J. Gelb notes that the technique itself is difficult to define because it involves a new experience. He says, “It’s like trying to explain music to someone who has never […]

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