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, Traveling Musician

Visa Updates from the Canadian Office

en français : Du Bureau canadien, le point sur les permis de travail by Liana White, AFM Canadian Office Executive Director We have recently streamlined processing to provide greater transparency on P-2 visa processing, by upgrading our data tracking system. In addition to better tracking, we now provide automated status updates throughout the processing of […]

Freelance Services Department: 

Beginning 2024 with Renewed Focus and Strength  by Wages Argott, AFM Director of Freelance Services and Membership Development  For many freelance and independent musicians, the thought of organized labor has long been reserved for those in service industries, manufacturing, trades, and public service. Regardless of the discipline, the gains achieved through collective power can’t be […]

Looking Back at a Successful 2022-2023 Season

Last season was exceptional as we had 12 full Pamphlet B shows and 10 Short Engagement Tours (SET) on the road in the United States and Canada. It is unusual to have more full Pamphlet B shows than SET shows on tour. Typically, one-third of the shows are full Pamphlet B and two-thirds are SET. […]

TMA Holds Largest Gathering Ever

AFM Local 8 (Milwaukee, WI) and the new Theatre Musicians Association (TMA) Wisconsin regional chapter hosted the 28th Annual TMA Conference in Milwaukee. Notable as the first in-person conference since 2019, this August’s conference was also the best attended conference in TMA’s history. Delegates from TMA chapters around the country were joined by the AFM President Tino […]

What to Know Before You Fly

TSA Airport Security Screening Update It’s important to be aware that the TSA is in the process of updating security scanners at airports across the country. These new TSA screeners are smaller than previous equipment, and are causing delays and burdensome confusion for some musicians. The new machines’ smaller entry size (24.5″ W x 16.5″ […]

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 […]

Important Clarification to FAA Rules on Flying with Instruments

The AFM spent more than a decade trying to clarify and improve the ability of musicians to fly with instruments as carry-on baggage. These efforts resulted in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which was implemented in 2015. The law states that if the instrument fits in the airline luggage bins and the […]

Taking Care of Business

The reality of our chosen career path as professional musicians is that our creative vocation is a business. While we musicians spend a lot of time and effort constantly improving our musical abilities, talent and musical prowess alone are no guarantee of success in the music business. A little savvy with all the nonmusical aspects […]

So You Made a Recording …

Make Sure You Talk with Your Local About AFM Recording Agreements to Protect Your Work! AFM member recordings are covered under a variety of sound recording agreements, all designed to protect your work and the work of the musicians you hire. Taking into consideration the scope of your work and its intended use is key. […]

Tools to Help You Succeed in the Business of Music

As musicians, we spend a lot of time and effort constantly improving our musical chops and performance skills. Even with perfection, however, there’s no guarantee of success in the music business. The reality of our chosen career path as professional musicians is that our creative vocation is still a business. As a member of the […]

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