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Steve Haberlin's picture
Steve Haberlin is an assistant professor of education at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. He holds a Ph.D. with a specialization in elementary education from the University of South Florida. His...
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What Gifted Kids Can Learn From P!NK

You can't move mountains by whispering at them.

Shes become one of the most successful music artists of her generation~ selling more than 50 million albums. When performing~ shes been known to swing like a trapeze artist overhead as she belts out her hits. Shes a straight-talking woman~ not afraid to speak her mind.

Her name is Alecia Beth Moore~ better known as the pop star sensation Pink (spelled P!nk).

The more I study creativity~ the more I believe P!nk provides some answers for gifted student-- all students for that matterwho want to become creative individuals. If you study P!nk against the backdrop of creativity gurus such as E. Paul Torrance and Alane Starko~ you will begin to see how the singer exemplifies many of the key traits. Please dont miss the point here. Even if you dont like her music or agree with her actions~ P!nks career and life can shed light on how the gifted and highly creative can utilize their talents in the world.
While there are many more traits involved with creativity~ here are some I believe are important and how they relate to P!nk.

Willingness to Take Risks

From a young age~ P!nk has shown a strong willingness to chances. By the age of 14~ she was performing in clubs. Later~ she had to decide to go solo if she wanted to pursue her dreams. Even though she won a Grammy~ P!nk wanted to avoid being stereotyped as the typical female pop singer and took her music in new directions. All of these decisions show the willingness to risk~ as well as the ability to face criticism.

Find Order in Chaos

P!NK had endured divorce as a child~ and in interviews~ described her home life as chaotic. Creative individuals can find order within the chaos. They can make sense of what seems like out of control situations or events. P!nk did this by writing lyrics that helped her sort out her emotions and her chaotic environment.


My friend said it best recently when he said this about P!nk.
She seems to not care about what others think. Unlike the other female singers~ she doesnt try to conform to what the public wants.
Creative people must remain true to themselves~ true to their ideas. Rather than conform to popular opinion~ they blaze their own path.
I wanted to do it my way with my career~ said P!nk.
Making Connections

Creative individuals see the relationship between unlike ideas and things~ often when others cannot. An example of this ability is P!nks decision to combine her athletic ability and trapeze artist type routine with her ability to sing. While the two may seem like to different abilities or performances~ she has discovered the relationship between the two in regards to performance and theatrics. In addition~ she has demonstrated a willingness to take risks by even performing this act.

I am in no way saying P!nk is the only example of creativity for young people or the one you as a teacher feel comfortable using. There are plenty of other famous and not so well known artists~ who Im sure exhibit many creative characteristics. My point is that we need to find modern examples of creative individualsboth male and female- and point them out to young people as we strive to help students develop these traits.
Thank you~