About the Musicians' Union
The Musicians’ Union is a globally-respected organisation which represents over 30,000 musicians working in all sectors of the music business.
As well as negotiating on behalf of musicians with all the major employers in the industry, the MU offers a range of services tailored for the self-employed by providing assistance for professional and student musicians of all ages.
The Musicians’ Union has specialist full-time officials available to immediately tackle the issues raised by musicians working in the live arena, the recording studio, or when writing and composing.
Such issues can range from copyright protection to valuable contractual advice or from the recovery of unpaid fees to crucial work in health and safety.
MU members, regardless of their genre of music, are part of one of the leading music industry bodies in Europe and the Union’s democratic structures offer every opportunity for musicians to influence MU policy.
Add to this the many services that the Union provides and you have an organisation that can assist its members throughout their professional careers and beyond.
The MU publishes a range of resources for teachers. There are extensive links to these resources in the right-hand column of this page.
The video below is the introduction to 'Keeping Children Safe in Music', a joint initiative between the Musicians' Union, the NSPCC, MusicLeader and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). This is an online resource allowing anyone teaching music to children to gain a better understanding of their child protection responsibilities and avoid situations that could lead to accusations of misconduct.
Why join the MU?
MU General Secretary, John F Smith, explains:
'You're a musician, not a lawyer. You want to make music, not unduly worry about unpaid fees, cancelled bookings and intellectual property rights. That's why you join the Musicians' Union.
'You're a musician, not a businessman. You want to get the best deal from your recordings and compositions without having to master the small print. That's why you join the MU.
'You're a musician, not an agent. You want your rights as a composer, songwriter or producer to be protected, especially against online rip-offs. That's why you join the MU.
'You're a musician who wants to know what other musicians are saying and thinking, to share their advice and to pick up tips on how you can improve your technique and advance your career. That's also why you join the MU.
'As soon as you sign up for MU membership you become entitled to a wide range of valuable benefits.'
The numerous benefits of MU membership include:
Members are insured for legal liability of £10m, to cover injury to members of the public or damage to property. You also get instrument and equipment insurance up to £2,000, Personal Accident cover and tax investigation cover.
NEW: Members have access to Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme from just £50 a year (plus £5 admin fee). For more information and to buy the cover click here.
Whenever members have disputes over unpaid fees, cancellations, injury compensation, intellectual property rights, or need help with contracts for recording, songwriting, touring or merchandising, the MU’s legal team is there to help — at no extra cost.
As a member, you have access to online noticeboards that allow you to contact fellow musicians. There are dedicated helplines for personal, legal, financial and medical assistance and access to music–focused and other courses and workshops.
Composers, songwriters and producers can call upon the MU to protect their copyright and property rights. The Union continually updates its rights' service for musicians in recording and publishing, including online developments.
Career & business advice
Membership enables you to maximise career opportunities by joining a community of musicians, benefiting from their wide experience. Our professional advisers offer commercial guidance while regional and specialist services will help you advance your music career.
Musicians who teach can get assistance with lesson planning documentation, obtaining Criminal Records Bureau clearance, National Insurance contributions, pension issues, claiming holiday pay and other teaching-related matters.
The annual membership rates are:
Credit/debit card: £201.00
Quarterly Direct Debit: 4 payments) of £50.25
Monthly Direct Debit: 12 payments of £16.75
Full Time Student rate: £20 per year by credit/debit card only
NUT / Musicians’ Union Joint Partnership Scheme – £105.50 per year by credit/debit card only.