Freelance Musicians' Association

Why Join the AFM?

Good question. Great reasons.

It's a Great Time to Be a Member

The AFM is the largest organization in the world dedicated to representing the interests of professional musicians.

Members, who number over 110,000 musicians, perform all styles of music-alternative rock, classical, pop, gospel, jazz, country, folk, rock, big band, reggae, contemporary Christian, etc. With such active members as Diana Krall, Billy Joel, Melissa Etheridge, Wynton Marsalis, Lyle Lovett, The Tragically Hip, and Carlos Santana, there is a strong representation of major recording individuals and groups.

The AFM has been promoting and protecting professional musicians for over 100 years and continues to be an effective advocate for musicians' rights in the workplace (be that on a symphony stage, in a recording studio, or on tour).

Members of the AFM are secure in knowing that their organization is actively lobbying to promote legislation that protects musicians' interests, as well as negotiating collective bargaining agreements with the recording industry, motions picture industry, jingle industry, TV networks, and National Public TV and Radio-providing excellent wages and working conditions for its members.

If you are a full-time or part-time musician, it is to your advantage to belong to the only organization that truly represents the interests of musical artists and performers.

We've Got You Covered

Musicians' Liability Insurance
This policy provides up to $1,000,000 for each occurrence and up to $2,000,000 of aggregate coverage for lawsuits arising out of bodily injury and/or damage to property of others, occurring on or off premises during your performance.

Equipment Insurance
Only you know the value of your instruments and equipment. Just think of the amount of money it would take to replace them. Most homeowner's and renter's insurance is not enough to protect you from loss, theft, or damage on location. The AFM provides access to "All-risk" Musical Instrument and Equipment Insurance Plan. Your instruments and music-related equipment are protected from vandalism, breakage, water, fire, lightning, and theft up to the full replacement value.

Travel Health Insurance
When you are working or out of the Province where you reside, this policy will cover all of your hospital and medical expenses by the "direct pay method." The insurance company will pay directly to the hospital or doctor as opposed to you paying first, submitting the bill to the insurance and then being reimbursed. Coverage is on an annual basis, and although the maximum length per trip is 60 days, the number of trips per year is unlimited. This insurance coverage is available at a cost which is considerably less than policies issued by other travel health plans.

Special Funds for AFM Members

Emergency Travel Assistance Program (ETAP or ROAD GIG)
ETAP-Road Gig offers emergency assistance for members get to the next gig or back home if a contracted engagement is cancelled or if the purchaser/employer defaults on the contract. You must have a contract on file with your local to use this service.

Recording Industries Music Performance Funds (MPTF)
The MPTF was created in 1948, by then AFM President James Petrillo and the recording industry as an AFM collective bargaining initiative and has been sustained through ongoing collective bargaining agreements between the AFM and the recording industry. The trust fund is a source of funding for live concerts that are admission-free and open to the public.

Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund for Disabled AFM Musicians
The Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund is a charitable fund that provides financial aid to disabled members. This fund is not intended to replace health insurance or provide general loans, but does assist qualified applicants on an emergency basis.

American Federation of Musicians' and Employers' Pension Fund (AFM-EPW)
The AFM-EPW Pension Fund is one of the largest pension funds in the entertainment industry with more than a half billion in assets. Every year millions of dollars are paid out to musicians who have participated in this benefit.

Legislative Representation
The AFM is actively involved at the national, provincial and local levels, advocating and lobbying for legislation that benefits the lives of working musicians including public funding for the arts, "Status of the Artist", special tax considerations for musicians, copyright, and intellectual property laws.

Free Subscription to the International Musician

The International Musician is the official journal of the AFM. Published monthly and sent to all members, this informative newspaper delivers articles of current interest to professional musicians, such as educational resources, labor news, marketing and career building ideas, as well as audition notices and help wanted ads.

The International Musician is available online in the private members-only area of the AFM website. Members may search online through past issues in International Musician archives.

Audition Ads
Monthly audition and help wanted ads are posted in the International Musician. Beginning the first of each month, audition ads are available online in the private members-only area the AFM website. Check out audition ads before they appear in print. Auditions are searchable by instrument online.

Online Resources and Forums
In addition to the International Musician online, there's a lot of new and exciting information inside Over 30 forums where you can ask questions of other members or just talk shop; official publications, like our International Bylaws and convention proceedings; a member search where you can find other AFM members; a complete listing of AFM staff with contact information.

Discounts on Products and Musical Instruments

Giardinelli's Musical Instrument Catalog - a full-line discount catalog of brass and woodwind instruments, marching percussion instruments, concert percussion instruments, violins, violas, cellos, and more. AFM members receive an extra 5% discount off the already discounted price.

Gand Music and Sound - The State of the Art catalog is published three times a year. It features recording gear, studio monitors, software, drum machines, keyboards, MIDI, guitars and accessories, microphones, sound systems, and more. They offer AFM members an extra 5% off their published discounted prices, plus free shipping on selected accessory items.

Steve's Music Store - in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. Save $5 off any purchase over $100, an extra 10% off any regularly priced music book, CD, or equipment rental.

Music Books PIus - 10% off any book, tape, or video from their Canadian catalogue.

AFM Online Marketplace - Available at, the exclusive, members-only AFM Marketplace offers outstanding selection, unique promotions, and discounts of up to 30% from such reputable online dealers as Barnes & Noble, Sharper Image, Toys R Us, J.Crew, and OfficeMax. Members find this to be a quick, easy, safe, and secure way to shop online from the comfort of the home or office.

Discounted Major Cruise Line Bookings - Cruises Inc. provides discounted major cruise line bookings to AFM members. Members can receive a free 32-page cruise directory, packed with impartial cruise observations and tips, plus special prices for AFM members.

Car Rental Discounts - As a union member you can save up to 25% on car rentals. Present your AFM Advantage coupon and receive additional benefits, such as car class upgrades and additional discounts up to $15,

Union Assistance

Signatory Booking Agents
The AFM has a list of franchised booking agents for the US and Canada that can be accessed at It is also available in booklet form by contacting the AFM. These agents are signatories to the AFM's Booking Agent Agreement which sets standards for legally enforceable contracts specifying negotiated fees, working conditions, and commissions.

Legal Contracts
Local and international agreements are important for protecting your work. A signed AFM contract offers you protection for individual engagements, steady engagements, and traveling work. The AFM has a standard form contract that all members are entitled to use. It contains the AFM seal and when properly filled out and filed with the local officer to help collect payments in the case of a
for download from the

Negotiated Agreements
International, national and local agreements covering all types of musical work ensure fair and timely payments as well as benefits and royalties (where applicable) for the reuse and new use of music recorded under these agreements.

Immigration Assistance
The AFM is an international union representing professional musicians in both the United States and Canada. On behalf of its members who accept gigs across the border, the Federation works with the governments of both countries to cut through the hassle of "red tape" usually associated with obtaining work visas in either location. This assistance is available for both US and Canadian musicians. There are specialized Canadian and US forms, both formats conform to the laws of the individual countries, are easy to complete, and provide comprehensive legal protection for either single engagement or touring dates.


Discover the AFM Advantage

American Federation of Musicians of the United States & Canada

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