Life Builders: Jeff Lewis

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Doing it Right

Jeff is by far the most successful of us four siblings. Jeff is the one who did everything the right way and is living a life that reflects his high level of foresight and dedication. In that sense, he has long been someone I admire for being so level headed.

In contrast to my life, which has been, admittedly, something of a whirlwind of seemingly rash decisions, Jeff has followed a more conservative and traditional career track. After studying at UTEP for a short period, he transferred to Devry in Phoenix. While he was a student at Devry he worked part time at a factory down the street for a then little known company called Intel. He has been with Intel now for over twenty years.

One of the reasons why I discourage my students from pursuing music as a full time career is because of the contrast in lifestyles of my brother Jeff and myself. The way Jeff did things is indeed the “RIGHT” way. In the end, life is better when you go to school, learn a skill or train for a career, then get a job. Beyond just that, Jeff is not only an employee of Intel, he is a good, faithful and loyal employee of Intel. During a time in our society when rebellion is celebrated over loyalty, employees like Jeff are diamonds in the rough.

I believe my father was a big influence on Jeff’s attitude about work and his employers. In a lot of ways, Jeff is just like my father in that respect. Daddy was a loyal employee who took his job very seriously. I remember when I applied for a job at my father’s company. He shared with me his thoughts about what a good employee was. I remember being almost shocked by his level of dedication and loyalty to the company. Not shocked because I thought it was wrong or anything like that. I was just surprised because it’s not something you hear people saying anymore. People do not tend to be loyal to their employers anymore. That is a thing of the past. So it is nice to see that this attitude lives on through my brother.

I am proud of Jeff for being who he is and doing things the way he has done them. He truly is someone I admire for his steadfastness, dedication and moral and ethical values.

My Personal Trainer

What a lot of people don’t know is that my entire physical approach to the trumpet (The Physical Trumpet Pyramid) finds its roots in the time that Jeff and I spent working out together. During that time, Jeff was my teacher about all things relating to muscles. He had experience and I had questions. So I picked his brains the whole time we worked out together.

Before I learned about lip buzz, before I ever considered changing my embouchure, before the Physical Trumpet Pyramid was even a serious thought, I learned how the muscles work from Jeff. He taught me the standard conventions, when to rest, what order to do the right exercises. It’s the foundational kernel of my method and all the physical stuff I teach my students today.

Today Jeff continues to train and exercise. He runs competitive races; marathons and triathlons and does quite well at it. In fact, yesterday he said he had a personal best score and came in the top 10% of his division.

This blog post is part of my Life Builders Series where I acknowledge the people who have contributed to my success in life. What would my life be like today without the Physical Trumpet Pyramid and the two books that were derived from that method; Daily Routines and Chops Express? If I never give credit where it is due, that would make me proud in a Biblical sense. So that’s what this Life Builders Series is for. That’s why I’m doing this…is to acknowledge that I would be nowhere on my own. There are literally hundreds of people who contributed to who I am today and all of my successes and I’m trying to write about all of them one at a time.

Obviously, I’m going to be at this for a long time!

Anyway, thank you Jeff for being true to who you are. I may not say it much, but I do appreciate you…and I love you.

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