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 www.afm.org/join.
May 18, 2020IM -
by Terryl Jares, International Executive Board Member and President of Local 10-208 (Chicago, IL)
Musicians are creative creatures. Through this time of uncertainty, it is encouraging to see musicians express their talents in new ways. Through the use of online resources, I’ve enjoyed performances of everything from solo clarinet études and family ensembles performing in their homes to caravans of cars honking and singing happy birthday wishes. One musician with computer skills has taken individual recordings and put them together in a collage of sorts complete with conductor! On a neighborhood block with a collective of professional musicians, each night the families gather on each of their front porches and perform a selected composition ranging from “Old MacDonald” and “Over the Rainbow” to “Twist and Shout.” The only prerequisite is the song must be loud and upbeat.
Many musicians are finding supplemental income by teaching online music lessons to their existing students and introducing many children and adults to a new musical experience of learning to play an instrument. And, I understand, they aren’t having trouble getting their students to practice.
We are still under a stay-at-home order and nearly all employment for musicians, as we know it, has ceased across the United States and Canada. Orchestras have canceled their seasons, theaters are dark, restaurants and bars have closed, schools are shuttered, and even weddings are being postponed. This will eventually end. We will come out on the other side of this pandemic. It will be slow and we all must be patient to ensure the safety and security of everyone.
While we wait, be creative. Do something you never thought possible. Engage with each other in new ways. Find new outlets for your musical expression and experiment with new ideas. Most of all, continue to be as creative as you can be.