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Kamile Geist




Kamile Geist

Professor of Music Therapy Chair, Music Therapy

Kamile Geist, Ph.D., MT-BC is the Director of the Music Therapy graduate and undergraduate programs at Ohio University, where she has been faculty for 17 years, 9 years as director. Dr. Geist received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from Baylor University, a master’s in Music Therapy from Texas Woman’s University and a doctorate from Ohio University in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Educational Research Methodology.

Dr. Geist is nationally and internationally known for her research on the impact music-based rhythmic strategies can have on stress, attention, and social-emotional behaviors for infants, young children, caregivers, and teachers. She presents about her research around the globe, including in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Scotland, Ecuador and Austria. Her interdisciplinary research has been funded by the Ohio University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the College of Fine Arts, the Patton College of Education, the 1804 Fund, the Baker Fund, the Ohio University Innovation Strategy, and an Ohio University Research Council’s (OURC) new community projects grant. In 2017, Dr. Geist received the American Music Therapy Association – Great Lakes Region Outstanding Researcher Award.

Dr. Geist’s current scholarship and research focuses on using music to help improve attention behaviors of children and attachment behaviors between infants and caregivers. She leads an interdisciplinary team in collaboration with the Ohio University Heritage College of Medicine (OU-HCOM), College of Arts and Sciences, and the Patton College of Education to study the effect of a rhythmic intervention on caregivers’ attachment behaviors and stress hormone levels when interacting with their infants. With recent funding from the OURC grant, she is expanding her work to community populations in rural Ohio and surrounding areas.

As an educator, she brings a broad knowledge of various Music Therapy approaches and research methodologies to the classroom and in clinical supervision. In 2012, she received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Ohio University School of Music. She teaches undergraduate Assessment, Evaluation, and Research and Senior Level practicum. Current graduate courses include Research in Music Therapy and Advanced Level Practicum as well as thesis and clinical project advising.

Dr. Geist’s leadership both at Ohio University and for the Music Therapy profession is extensive, diverse and ongoing. At the university level, Dr. Geist served as the Graduate Director of the Individual Interdisciplinary Program (IIP) through Ohio University’s Graduate College. In this role, she taught IIP Professional Seminars and administered all program related activities.  Her service to the university also includes the Ohio University Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Committee, Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, the Research Council, and the Baker Fund Committee. She is Co-Chair of the College of Fine Arts Health and Wellness Committee and served as Chair of the School of Music Promotion and Tenure committee. Distinctive nationally leadership includes being the Co-Chair of the American Music Therapy Association’s (AMTA) Academic Program Approval Committee, a member of AMTA’s Education and Training Advisory Board and she is currently Chair of the AMTA Competency Review Task Force.

As Music Therapy program director, she has been instrumental in bringing national and international visibility to Ohio University’s Music Therapy programs. Her collaborations across the Ohio University campus include hosting conferences, arranging distinctive guest lecturers, and developing courses and interdisciplinary educational and clinical experiences for undergraduate and graduate students. She works closely with community partners locally, nationally, and internationally to support strong undergraduate and graduate clinical training opportunities for students.

Recent Publications, Presentations and Funding


Geist, K., Creagan, J., Neugebauer, C. & Elkins, A. (2018). Education for a career in music therapy. In B. A. Lagasse, A. Knight, & A. Clair (Eds.),  In Music Therapy: An Introduction to the Profession (pp. 13 – 32). Silver Spring, MD: The American Music Therapy Association.

Geist, K. & Williams, C. (2018). Annotated bibliography in support of a Music Therapy theory of intervention. In Information Literacy In Music: An Instructor’s Guide. Erin C., Ritter, M. & Christensen, B. (eds.) Madison, WI.

Geist, K. (2016). Sources of Knowledge in Music Therapy Clinical Practice. Ohio University Dissertation.


Geist, K. & Geist, E. (2019). Keep a Beat: The Impact of a Rhythmic Intervention On Caregiver/Infant Attachment Behaviors. ISME Special Education and Music Therapy Pre-Conference Proceedings.

Geist, K. (2018). Conference report: “The 2016 ISME Commission on Special Music Education and Music Therapy Pre-Conference Seminar”. Approaches: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Music Therapy, First View (Advance online publication), 1-3.

Brown, L. S., Benigno, J. P., & Geist, K. (2018). Come Together: Music Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology Students’ Perspectives on Collaboration During an Inclusive Camp for Children with ASD. Music Therapy Perspectives, 36(1), 17-25.


Geist, K., Zoccola, P., Andary, N., Geist, E., Law, T., Dogbey, G., Williams, L. (2018). The Impact of Music and Movement On Parent or Caregiver Stress Levels: Pilot Cortisol and DHEA Results. Presented at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Research Day. April 4, 2018.


Geist, K. & Geist, E. (2018) Keep a Beat: The Impact of a Rhythmic Intervention On Caregiver/Infant Attachment Behaviors. The International Society of Music Educators Commission on Special Music Education and Music Therapy, Salzburg, Austria, July 2018.

Geist, K. (2018). The Impact of Music and Movement on Infant Parent or Caregiver Stress Levels: Pilot Cortisol and DHEA Results. Symposium Widening Perspectives: Music therapy and interculturality as experience, field of knowledge and practice in Ecuador. Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador.

Geist, K. (2018).The Music Therapy Profession: United States and Ohio University. Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador.


Geist, K. et al. (2019). Ohio University Research Council - Community Engaged Research funding initiative.

The Impact of Music-Based Interactive Strategies on Caregiver Stress Levels and Caregiver/Infant Attachment Behaviors: Demonstrating Feasibility Among At-Risk Families.

Geist, K. et al. (2016). Ohio University Innovation Strategy Planning Grant.

The ARTS Research Teaching and Service Learning Lab (ARTS Lab) Planning Grant - 2 Innovative Pilot Projects.

Geist, K. (2013). Ohio University Baker Fund.

The Effect of the Music–Based ‘Keep a Beat’ Intervention on Off-Task Behaviors of 3-5 Year Old Children in a Group Setting at a Public Preschool

For a complete list of Dr. Geist’s professional, teaching and service activities, see Kamile Geist’s complete CV [PDF]

Educational Background

  • PhD, Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Ohio University
  • M.A., Music Therapy, Texas Woman’s University
  • B.M.E., Music Education, Baylor University