The Domino Effect



The domino effect occurs when you make a change to one behavior that activates a chain reaction and cause a shift in related behaviors as well. For example, I bet your momma told you that if you made your bed in the morning, the rest of your day would go well. And it did, didn't it?

A good example of the domino effect can be seen in the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak of the virus in China and the resulting rapid global spread of the disease led to widespread panic and a decrease in global trade and travel. In addition to the negative health outcomes and deaths of those who came down with it, Covid-19 also led to a decrease in global economic activity, businesses shutting down, an increase in unemployment, and ongoing mental issues still today.

Here’s another good example. The environmental catastrophe of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had a devastating impact on the local ecosystem, killing wildlife and damaging the livelihoods of those who depend on the sea for their livelihoods. The spill also had ripple effects throughout the global economy, as the price of oil increased and the tourism industry in the Gulf region was severely impacted.

So I was wondering, is it possible that there could be a domino effect in music, a logical succession of events that will surely follow if you practice faithfully? I found a poster that supports this hypothesis.

I found this image a few weeks ago, and it’s been having a domino effect on my thinking. I hadn’t tuned my hammered dulcimer lately, so I got’er tuned up and then I had to practice to be sure it was perfect. I printed off some new arrangements of Christmas tunes for my keyboard, and then taped them into folders so I could stand up all 4 pages at the same time. Then I had to sit down and play for a while, to see if I liked those arrangements. (My husband was wondering when if I was ever going to stop so he could watch the football game – a domino effect in the marriage!).

Maybe you should print this image and tape it to your bathroom mirror, so you’ll be reminded to practice every day.

Domino effect in this scenario - win, win.

Happy dulcimering,



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