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


Home » Products » Books-Resources » Speaking for Ourselves: Conversations on Life, Music, and Autism

Speaking for Ourselves: Conversations on Life, Music, and Autism


Speaking for Ourselves

When ethnomusicologist Michael Bakan saw the transformative effect of music on a young relative with Asperger’s syndrome, he created a music-and-play project for children on the autism spectrum. These included the Music-Play Project (2005-2009) and Artism Ensemble (2011-2013). In this book, he continues to explore the link between autism and musical talents and affinities, delivering a powerful statement on neurodiversity and autistic self-advocacy through 10 conversations with people aged seven to 47.

Speaking for Ourselves: Conversations on Life, Music, and Autism, by Michael B. Bakan, Oxford University Press,