The AFM started back in the mid-1800s as musicians in the United States began exploring ways to improve their professional lives. Since then it has become an international resource for musicians and music professionals.
The International Executive Board is elected every two years by delegates to the AFM Convention. The delegates who elect International officers are themselves elected as representatives by the memberships of their locals. This ensures democratic representation of the entire membership.
There are two major offices in the AFM: the President's Office and the Secretary-Treasurer's Office. Under the President's Office are four departments: Touring, Theater, and Booking; Symphonic Services Division; Electronic Media Services; and Organizing and Education.