Living in Santa Clarita means living show business-adjacent — and local music teacher Molly Peters recently got her own taste of the show-biz experience when singer Kelly Clarkson invited her to appear on a national daytime talk show.
Peters, a music teacher at West Ranch High School and Rancho Pico Junior High School, enjoyed her 15 minutes of fame for her work in the classroom after Clarkson invited a group of music teachers out to speak with her on camera for the second episode of the former “American Idol”-winner’s new show, “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”
“We were just kind of like, ‘What is going on?’” said Peters, describing the whirlwind experience. “We were all a little confused and excited.”
Peters said she completed a pre-interview with the show’s producers over the phone, but she wasn’t told many details about the filming.
What awaited her was Kelly Clarkson surprising the group of music teachers on the Universal Studios tram tour, by standing in the middle of the street of the “Desperate Housewives” set as confetti rained down around everyone.
Clarkson then took the group on a “special tour” guided by the music star, where the teachers were given gifts, shown the various exclusive sets and invited to lunch on the Universal Studios set of “Back to the Future,” directly in front of the famous lightning clock tower.
After the studio experience, the teachers met John Legend – the show’s guest for the day — and the teachers were given various gifts, including a cruise ship vacation. They then filmed the in-studio portion, at which point Peters realized how special the experience of it all was.
“It was just really, really nice that she took the time to honor teachers,” said Peters, adding that Clarkson’s mom was a teacher, which caused her famous daughter to have an appreciation for educators. “I think so many times music gets overlooked … and I think that it sort of gets forgotten, or neglected or just not valued for what it is.”
Peters said she hoped her television debut would inspire not only her kids, but also the community to see the importance of music education.
“We talk a lot about failure in my classroom and that it’s OK to fail,” said Peters. “The musical process is just a tiny little example of, you fail you fail you fail, and then you succeed. It’s about not giving up and it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
In addition to teaching her students to have “grit,” Peters said music education is crucial to those who want to pursue a future in music, but can be important to kids who see music as a passion but not a priority.
“For the majority of students, I think what it does it gives them a home, a sense of belonging and it gives them this lifelong skill,” said Peters. “(And) being involved in a program like your band program, or your choir program or a theater program for four years of high school, is something that sets you apart from other students because it shows longevity, it shows you’re goal-orientated, it shows you’re committed and you’re a part of something bigger than you.”