Musicians' Union at Keys Week 23: Join a bigger band

Why join?

You are a musician. You are not an accountant, or a lawyer, or a politician. That’s why you need the MU.

The music industry has changed beyond all recognition. And the MU has changed with it

We can offer invaluable advice to the working musician. Like advice on how to get work.

And how to get properly paid for it. How to negotiate a recording or publishing contract.

And advice on how to protect your music from illegal downloading or filesharing.

The music industry has changed beyond all recognition. And the MU has changed with it. We look after the interests of over 33,000 professional musicians. Anyone from performers, writers, teachers or students working in all sectors of the business, across all genres.

Never have there been more opportunities for music-makers. Nor more pitfalls.

For keyboard players and more

For keyboard players, DJs and electronic musicians, the MU can provide:

• Insurance for keyboards, decks, headphones, synths, midi controllers, laptops
• Legal advice and assistance, including bespoke partnership agreements
• Contract advice, template contracts for gigs and unpaid fee recovery
• Specimen contracts for publishing, licensing, synchronisation, recording and more
• Training and networking opportunities
• Hearing advice and protection
• £10million Public Liability Insurance
• National and international touring advice
• Campaigns for fair pay and supporting venues under threat
• Specialist advice on recording, music publishing and co-writing
• Royalties and residuals collection and distribution
• Dedicated networks and committees who work on your behalf

The MU can help you maximise the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls, throughout your career.

And unlike other industry advisers, our only agenda is your agenda. For you, it’s all about the music. For the MU, it’s all about the musician.

Insurance benefits

• Be free from insurance worries
• Up to £2,000 of free instrument and equipment insurance
• £10 million public liability insurance cover
• Personal accident cover
• Professional expenses cover – help when dealing with tax authorities
• Professional indemnity insurance for those working in education

• Free legal advice and representation
• Contract Advice and Negotiation Service
• Unpaid fee recovery
• Trade union representation for problems at work
• Partnership Advisory Service: advice on working with other musicians

Get the recognition you deserve

• Career development advice
• Free training, workshops and networking events
• Regional officials based in offices around the country offering a face-to-face service for any issues you may encounter
•Specialist officials and departments to give advice on specific areas of your work, such as teaching, composing, live, recording or working in a theatre or orchestra
• Help with issues such as hearing, and health and safety

Join a bigger band and improve your rights

• The MU is the largest organisation representing musicians in the UK.
• We influence the music industry through our membership of organisations such as UK Music, PPL and the British Copyright Council.
• We work with other unions through the TUC and the Federation of Entertainment Unions to improve your rights.
• The MU has strong links with international governments and musicians’ organisations, in order to secure improvements for musicians both here and abroad

Be sure your voice is heard

• Keep Music Live campaign to maintain live performance in theatres and beyond
• Work Not Play - our stand against musicians being asked to work for free
• Influence over policy in all Parliaments and Assemblies, for example through our parliamentary group
• Lobbying successes such as the Live Music Act (2012 onwards), which made it easier to put on gigs at grassroots level

Be better represented

• The MU only represents musicians - we are your union
• We do not have corporate members, which avoids potential conflicts of interest
• In everything we do, from legal cases to lobbying and from campaigns to negotiations, you can be confident that the MU is only ever acting in the interests of you – the musician
• We are part of the International Federation of Musicians (FIM), which represents musicians worldwide on issues such as intellectual property and travelling with your instrument

For more info head over to

MU logo

(Image credit: Musician's Union)

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