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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy's Private School Blog

Getting to Know Brian Buckley

So far, you've met Assistant to the Head of Senior School Josh Briggeman and Assistant Kindergarten teacher Rina Heavner, now let's meet an artsy type!

Brian Buckley – Accompanist and Music Teacher

Brian joins our music department as an accompanist, where he will support our dance program, and music teacher, where he will be teaching a number of classes in music appreciation and music theory. Most recently an adjunct professor of musicianship at Duquesne University, Brian has taught music history and music theory. A pianist by training, Brian earned his B.M., magna cum laude, from Duquesne University, and his M.M. in collaborative piano from Carnegie Mellon University. His studies included work in composition, jazz piano performance and studies, and harpsichord and organ performance.

What motivated you to become a teacher?I was hired at Duquesne University’s Music School during the summer after I graduated because a professor had left quite suddenly. After I finished my first year I fell in love with teaching, and I haven’t looked back.


What is the most important life lesson you want your students to learn in your classroom?

Knowledge and information are not the same.  Information is what you’re told, what you read, even what you learn. Information only becomes knowledge when you can retrieve it and apply it throughout your life. Often times when you’re retrieving and applying knowledge, you don’t even realize you’re doing it because it’s in a situation that couldn’t be defined on a classroom test.

What are your favorite moments with a student?

My favorite moments are when students tell me they “can’t,” and then sometime later they tell me they “can.” I don’t have to say anything throughout this discovery process, because I know they will determine this on their own.

How do you keep current with the subject areas you teach?

Being a musician is not a career, it’s a lifestyle (and at times an obsession). I can’t help but stay as active as possible in my profession seven days a week. Whether it is education, performance, or entertainment, it’s hard to say “no” to new experiences and opportunities. Whatever I learn elsewhere, I eagerly pass on to my students with delight!

What interests you outside the classroom? What are you passionate about?

I enjoy comedy and practical jokes very much. Any opportunity to help someone laugh is the highlight of my day. I enjoy traveling, especially with my dad. We’ve visited and done some pretty exceptional things together.

Why did you choose to teach at Sewickley Academy?

At Sewickley Academy nobody will ask me to make a difference; it’s an expectation. That’s how I want to work every day.

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Topics: Faculty

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