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.

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Home » Articles » This Year’s EMSD Special Issue Is Extra Special


This Year’s EMSD Special Issue Is Extra Special

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Electronic Media Services Division

by Pat Varriale, AFM Electronic Media Services Division Director and Assistant to the President

Welcome to this month’s issue of International Musician, which focuses on the Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD)—the division of the AFM responsible for serving and protecting the interests of non-symphonic recording musicians. (Symphonic orchestras are handled solely by the AFM Symphonic Services Division or jointly with the EMSD, depending on the nature of the project and make-up of the orchestra.)

This year’s issue is extra special for me for three reasons. First, I get the opportunity to welcome a new member of the EMSD team: John Painting. John joined the AFM in May as the assistant director of the EMSD. Many of you may know John from his eight years in the recording department at Local 802. Now, he brings his invaluable knowledge of our various and complex recording agreements to the international office of the AFM. John also brings with him youth that will serve the EMSD many years into the future.

The second reason I am excited is that, in October, I will be celebrating 45 years at the AFM, all in the Recording Department/Electronic Media Services Division. It has been a long and amazing journey and I have enjoyed every bit of my time here. I expand more on my experiences here.

The third reason I am ecstatic is the long-awaited revival and return of “The Recording Game.” This “game” was originally brought to life by former EMSD directors Dick Gabriel and Carol Sato in the 1990s. Its purpose was to illustrate on a simplistic basis the continued gains musicians are entitled to when they see to it that their recorded product is made under AFM conditions, as opposed to the “one and done” when he/she opts to record non-union. The game proved to be very popular and was widely requested for use at music conferences and music classes. I cannot thank John Painting, Justin Terry, Alyson Sheehan, and Mary Beth Blakey enough for their efforts in bringing The Recording Game to life for this issue.

You will also find in this issue an article from the aforementioned John Painting. John expands on the complicated world of music preparation and the importance of seeing to it that music prep invoices are properly completed and filed with the AFM local in whose jurisdiction the work takes place. Here, Alyson Sheehan writes on her experiences with the Commercial Announcements Agreement and what musicians can do when they hear their music in a “New Use.”

I want to thank RMA International President Marc Sazer for contributing an article to this issue.

I also want to thank the hardworking EMSD staff on both coasts for their day-in and day-out dedication to the cause. We have an updated list of the staff and their functions. I am very proud of their accomplishments and the expertise they bring to musicians on a daily basis.

Finally, I would like to thank AFM in-house counsels Jennifer Garner and Russ Naymark for their invaluable assistance in negotiations of our major agreements, resolving long outstanding claims, and lending their expertise to the many special agreements that this division is involved with to cover the recording work of our great musicians.

I am confident that all readers will find this issue to be informative and enjoyable. Please let us know if you have any questions. We are just a phone call or email away.







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