Professor Geist began her career first as a middle school band director and then as a music therapist serving children with special needs in the public school systems in the North Dallas, Texas area. While in Dallas, she taught undergraduate and graduate music therapy courses at Southern Methodist University and ran her own business, North Dallas Music Therapy Services. A music therapist for 15 years, currently she is Associate Professor of Music Therapy and Program Coordinator of the Music Therapy division at Ohio University, where she teaches and provides clinical supervision for both undergraduate and graduate students. She serves on various university and national committees, including the Ohio University Graduate Council, Ohio University Research Council, and the American Music Therapy Association’s Academic Program Approval Committee, for which she is Co-Chair. Professor Geist received the Distinguished Teaching Award in the School of Music at Ohio University in 2012 and was nominated for the Ohio University Presidential Teaching Scholar award in 2013. Professor Geist’s research is published in the Journal of Instructional Psychology, the Journal of Music Therapy, the College Student Journal, Music Therapy Perspectives, Imagine, the Triad, and the prestigious early childhood education journal, Young Children. Her research focus is on how rhythm effects attention behaviors in young children, which can allow for improved behavioral and academic outcomes. She has conducted studies in preschools in the Southeastern Ohio Appalachian communities, where she trains teachers on how to use rhythm to improve engagement with children who are at risk in their classrooms. The Keep a Beat (KaB) research and teacher training program she created has received funding from the Ohio University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the Ohio University College of Fine Arts, Ohio University College of Education, and recently from the prestigious Ohio University Baker Fund. Professor Geist presents nationally and internationally on her research, including training early childhood educators and music teachers in Mexico and Colombia, South America.
PhD Candidate, Curriculum and Instruction, Ohio University,
M.A., Music Therapy, Texas Woman’s University,
B.M.E., Music Education, Baylor University