Oct 13

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Music is a Business Regardless

Move The Needle Forward

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My recent Seminar in Silver Springs just outside Washington DC was an eye-opener to say the least – and not just for the high intensity training that was imparted on us by five excellent facilitators.

The enormous scope of benefits and protection extended by both the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) runs far deeper than just paying yearly dues to be a member.

Yes, there is the standard P1 & P2 work permits to allow you to go into the USA and perform, and the insurance policy that is for gear (how many of you don’t have gear insurance?) – but it extends far beyond that to benefit musicians and sadly most musicians don’t even know such as:


Mandatory Acceptance of Musical Instruments on planes

AFM Signatory Booking Agents in Canada (so you don’t get screwed)

Instrument and Liability Insurance

Pensions (applies to both Musicians & Music Teachers)

AFM/CFM sanctioned contracts for Festivals, Recording, Gigs that incorporates a pension contribution for the musician

Health, Travel, Dental, Personal Accident Disability Insurance

Special Recording Benefits


Now I know what some are already thinking as I write this.

“Jim just came back from this seminar and as he is Vice-President of the London Musicians Association – it’s his job to sell this to all of us.”

Well, if that’s your thought then maybe the music business isn’t the right fit for you at the end of the day, as all of the above are serious facets of running a music business that while you might not incorporate all of them – there are certainly some of the above and more that will benefit you as a working musician. Whether you are an indie act, solo act, cover band musician or a Music Teacher.

For example – did you know that if you are an Indie Musician playing for the door and making 30.00 each at the end of the night – you could still contribute to your own pension?

Did you know as a Music Teacher that all the students you have in a course of the year you can still contribute to your own pension and NOT raise the price that your students pay?

How many of you are on the greatest rip-off scam of the music business – Spotify.

Did you know that salaries at Spotify range from an average of $60,523 to $177,036 a year? Spotify employees with the job title Senior Software Engineer make the most with an average annual salary of $142,409, while employees with the title Sales Planner make the least with an average annual salary of $54,905.

How much do you make from them for your music?

Well the AFM is going after them in a large way on your behalf as well as the entire streaming services and YouTube.


I’m not going to sell you anything, but in the months to come the LMA is going to start educating London and area musicians on what is available to them for their individual careers. It is YOU that will make the choice best for you, but knowledge is power and without it you miss out on a lot in life – why not at least garner that education and go from there.

In the next week I am going to ask all of you on Social Media what issues affect your and your career? This will be entirely different than the London Music Census – this is a more focused and inter-active forum that I am going to set up with all of you to push the needle forward and there is going to be London Seminars coming with special events attached.

Feel free to contact me at Jim and all info submitted will be strictly anonymous – I’m more interested in the issues than who said what.