Ashley Mills Monaghan

I am a wife, a mom, an award winning author, a preschool teacher and I am a songwriter. I have secretly always been a songwriter at heart but never knew until recently that it was something I could actually do.

Of course, I’ve always wanted to be an artist. I can remember at age 6 writing poetry down to turn into songs and I'd use a hairbrush to sing into every chance I'd get when I'd finally have the bathroom all to myself. I have endless journals of lyrics scribbled down with scratched out chord changes all over the pages...Music has always been there for me. I couldn't spend a whole 5 months away from my guitar when I studied abroad in Ireland so within the first week I was there I bought a red guitar for 100 euros in a music shop in Carlow. After spending 18 years at the piano and picking up the guitar at 16 years of age, I knew I had found my best friend in life.
When I was 23 I realized I would never make it as a musician so I stopped trying altogether. Even though I never really played for anyone, I just assumed no one would want to hear what I had to say. I stopped dreaming. I pursued other interests. But after the success of my award winning book 'A Little Goes a Long Way' and years of working in early child education, now being a mom and speaking at various workshops and conferences, I realized the time has come for me to stop using my fear as an excuse not to pursue my dream. If I can manage twelve 3-4 year olds myself in the classroom, I can share the songs I've written. If I can birth 2 sons of my own, I can share the songs I've written. If I can speak at various conferences and perform at school assemblies with my book in front of a hundred people, I can share the songs I've written. And if I can write and publish 2 award winning books, I can share the songs I've written. I've been scared for too long. I hold a lot of self doubt in me that I’m ready to let go of. I think that’s my biggest drive for this.

I wrote a tune called "If I tell Myself I Can" and it's about having the mindset to teach yourself that you can do anything if you tell yourself you can do it. I see this theme a lot among young children; they assume a task is too difficult and they are afraid to fail or struggle, so they say 'I can't do it.' But I tell my friends in my preschool class and I tell my boys at home, if you think you can't do something, you won't do it but if you tell yourself you CAN do it - you will. Messages like these need to be heard. Songs like this one need to be heard.

It’s time I take my own message to heart and be brave and put myself out there. If I tell myself I can, I can do anything so help me spread my message of self empowerment and help me get these songs heard. Let's let the good times roll!

Dec. 7, 2020

Ashley Mills Monaghan live from "The Digital Bird's Nest"

This week's special guest is Ashley Mills Monaghan. Not only is she a singer-songwriter but also an award winning children's auth…

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