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article imageChatting with Ashley Mills Monaghan: Children's music artist Special

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 27, 2020 in Music
Children's music artist Ashley Mills Monaghan chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos about her new single "Wiggle" and upcoming album "Good Times."
On her new single "Wiggles," she said, "'Wiggles' was written for my preschoolers. I teach a vibrant group of 3-4-year-olds and I always incorporate a lot of music into my classes. My friends at school love to wiggle so I started writing a song that would be fun as an ‘action/listen and do’ song for them. 'Wiggles' allows kids to participate and think about which body part they are asked to wiggle. My preschoolers would ask several times a day to play the 'Wiggles' song."
Regarding her song selection process for the Good Times album, she said, "I knew I wanted Good Times to be an album full of songs that were fun and interactive and that teachers could use for music and movement. It was also important for me to include songs about self empowerment, mindfulness, kindness and love. I wanted to give children and adults a collection of songs that really reflect the themes that I see in the everyday life of a child. The song, 'Good Times' is written for my own children and because a lot of these themes in my music were inspired by the struggles of my own children, I wanted to give the album that title because ultimately, they are my inspiration for all that I do."
On being an artist in the digital age, she said, "It is so exciting to be an artist in the digital age because I don’t have to sit and wait my entire life for someone else to decide if my music is worth sharing. It is accessible and it is empowering to be free in taking control of my own music. With that, of course, has its own challenges because there is now so much competition and so much relies on one’s ‘following’ or social media status to be considered valuable. It can be frustrating but like one of the tracks on the album says, ‘if I tell myself I can, I can do anything."
She opened up about life during quarantine. "I have a choice in seeing this pandemic as a negative experience, or I can accept the challenge and make the most of it. As challenging as this all is, there have been silver linings. Don’t get me wrong, I get the struggle. I had to juggle my own preschool class by zoom, homeschool two kids, train a new puppy and strategize my music career all while keeping the house clean and dinner on the table by 5:30 p.m. It was extremely challenging."
"My family has grown so close, my kids more independent, the board games and finding fun out of boredom - this all came out of the quarantine. As well as that, I was given the push to get my new music out there. A week before the pandemic hit, I was set to film my Kickstarter campaign video to fundraise to finish my Good Times album but that came to a halt indefinitely. I knew my producer, Kevin Burnstein, at Pinehurst Records and I had already started something special and so we decided to release ‘Wiggles.’ Then my brothers, Graham and Alec Sibley, and I made a music video for the single," she elaborated.
"All during the pandemic. We asked fans, friends and families around the country to send in their wiggles. We asked 7 kids to a socially distanced film shoot at the park. We received over 50 submissions from all around the country for our "Wiggles” music video and the best part was the feeling of coming together in a time of having to stay apart," she added.
She revealed that her music and songwriting are inspired by her own children, as well as her preschoolers. "Also, constantly asking myself as an early child educator and parent, what does my child need to hear? What can I use in the classroom?" she said.
For young and aspiring artists, she said, "Get back up when you feel like you have failed, tell yourself you can and listen to your music with other people. I get very much in my own head and constantly feel like I am not good enough when it comes to my music. It’s only when I actually see and feel others' reaction to my music that I get a little reminder that maybe I am not as bad as I think I am."
On her definition of the word success, she said, "Someone recently told me, 'Wow, I can play your song on Alexa - you’ve made it.' But in my mind, I haven’t made it at all. Why don’t I think I’ve made it? This past weekend I spent time in my studio filming a guest spot for a YouTube music show and it dawned on me; I am living a creative life, creating balance between being a wife, mother and a teacher. Perhaps this is success. If you can live a life that makes you genuinely happy and balanced, then I think you’re successful."
She concluded about her new single and upcomoing album, "'Wiggles' is my gift to you. I know a lot of parents are having to homeschool their kids so please use it for 'brain breaks', music and movement, learning body parts or just to get some wiggles out. And please follow me on Instagram to get updates on my next release from Good Times."
To learn more about Ashley Mills Monaghan, check out her official website and follow her on Instagram.
Read More: "Wiggles" earned a favorable review from Digital Journal.
Ashley Mills Monaghan
Ashley Mills Monaghan
Ashley Mills Monaghan
More about Ashley Mills Monaghan, Artist, Children's, Music, Teacher
 
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