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Full membership

From £171 a year

With the UK music sector facing increasing challenges and evermore uncertainty, it has become essential for all music professionals to have the support and representation of the ISM - the UK's professional body for musicians.

Full membership is perfect for those musicians with more than 10 years of professional experience and includes access to comprehensive insurance cover, bespoke legal assistance, extensive online advice, exclusive discounts, health and wellbeing support and more.

If you have fewer than 10 years' experience or are a recent graduate, you may be eligible for ISM early career membership.

What are the benefits?

  • premier legal services from our specialist in-house team and access to our 24/7 legal helpline
  • public liability insurance cover up to £10,000,000
  • legal expenses insurance cover up to £100,000
  • an unpaid fees service to recover payments owed to you
  • bespoke instrument and equipment insurance at a discounted rate
  • professional listings to help you promote yourself and get work
  • health and wellbeing services including counselling, CBT and physiotherapy
  • a visa and work permit advisory service
  • DBS Disclosure service
  • hundreds of discounts to save you money
  • Be part of an active community of musicians
  • award-winning professional development events such as The Empowered Musician
  • tax support services including a daytime helpline and a discounted tax return completion service
  • Being a member of the UK’s professional body for musicians enhances your status and helps you stand out from the crowd
  • have your say with full voting rights on ISM matters
  • and much more...

'My ISM is tailor-made because each musician is multifaceted and will require the different services that the ISM provides.'

Bushra El-Turk, Composer and Artistic Director, Ensemble Zar

How much does it cost?

Annual Direct Debit (save £10)

£171

Monthly Direct Debit £18.10 x 10 instalments
Annual payment (card, bank transfer, cheque)£181

How do I join?

The ISM is a professional body so you must be working in music at a professional level to join us. As everyone has a different pathway into music, there are different ways that you can demonstrate that you are working at a professional level.

Please select one of the routes to membership below when you join online or over the phone.

Apply online

Simply complete our online application form and indicate which route to membership you are taking (see explanation below).

Apply by telephone

Call us on 020 7221 3499, Monday - Friday, 9.30am - 5.30pm and we'll take your details over the phone.

Routes to membership

Qualified Route

If you have studied a music-related subject at level four (HNC) or above simply enter the name of your qualification, the institution you studied at and the year you graduated when you apply online.

Finished your course within the last 10 years?

If you gained your first qualification at level four or above within the last 10 years, you can save 70% on the price of membership by joining at our specially discounted early career rate of just £50 which applies for four years.

Not studied music but have qualifications at level four or above?


If you gained your first qualification at level four or above in a non music-related subject (ie BA History) within the last 10 years and are now working as a music professional, you can save 70% on the price of membership by joining at our specially discounted early career rate which applies for four years. To join, apply online at any time. We'll ask you for a short biography about your work within the music sector. Alternatively, just call our membership team on the number above for an informal discussion about your career.

Membership Officer approval route

More than 10 years' professional experience?

If you have more than 10 years' professional experience in the music sector and gained your skills outside of formal study, it's likely you'll be able join us via this route. When you apply, we'll ask you for a short biography about your work within the music sector. Alternatively, just call our membership team on the number above for an informal discussion about your career.

Fewer than 10 years' professional experience?

If you have been working within the music profession for fewer than 10 years, you can join at our specially discounted early career rate of just £50 which applies for four years of membership. We'll ask you for a short biography about your work within the music sector. Alternatively, just call our membership team on the number above for an informal discussion about your career.

Referred route

You can ask two of your professional colleagues to provide references to support your application. One of your referees should be a current ISM member. Simply provide us with their contact details when you apply.

Fast-track route

You can join the ISM through the fast-track route if you satisfy one or more of the criteria below. Please provide the name of the relevant ensemble, funding body, award, artist management company, young or emerging artist scheme, record label, higher education institution or publisher when you apply online or over the phone.

  • You are booked or employed to play for an orchestra or are part of a professional freelance group or ensemble, musical theatre company or opera group on our fast-track list
  • You are booked by any choir or chorus on our fast-track list
  • You are currently represented by a management company who is a member of IAMA (International Artist Managers’ Association)
  • You have a recording contract with a label which is a member of AIM (The Association of Independent Music) or the BPI (British Phonographic Industry)
  • You are music teaching staff at a higher education institution which offers a degree or equivalent with music as a significant component or who works in a specialist music school
  • Your compositions are published by a company which is a member of the MPA (Music Publishers Association)
  • You are or have been part of a young or emerging artist scheme on our fast-track list
  • You have won or been nominated for a recognised award on our fast-track list
  • You have won funding from a major arts funding body on our fast-track list

Download our fast-track list

Rejoining the ISM

If you were previously an ISM member - welcome back! All you need to do is contact us on 020 7221 3499, Monday - Friday, 9.30am - 5.30pm or email [email protected] and we can restart your membership. If you have any questions, try our frequently asked questions page or call us on the number above.

Hear from a member