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Kamile Geist

Associate Professor of Music Therapy

551C Glidden Hall
(740) 593-4249

Kamile Geist

Associate Professor of Music Therapy

Kamile Geist serves as the Director of Music Therapy and Director of the Individual Interdisciplinary Program at Ohio University. Dr. Geist holds a PhD from Ohio University in Education with a cognate in Educational Research Methods, an MA from Texas Woman’s University in Music Therapy, and a BME from Baylor University in Music Education. 


Dr. Geist’s scholarship and research interests are interdisciplinary and focus on creating evidence of the positive effects of rhythmic interventions on improving attention behaviors of children and also reducing stress in teachers, parents or caregivers.  The Keep a Beat program is designed to support children birth-5 and their teachers/parents of birth-5 in preschools, day care centers, and homes where a high percentage of children from under-served populations live in extreme poverty. She leads a team who are conducting the first clinical trial of its kind to measure stress level hormones of parents/caregivers of infants who use a rhythmic and movement intervention when interacting with their child.


Her research has received funding from the Ohio University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the College of Fine Arts, the Patton College of Education, the Baker Fund and the Ohio University Innovation Strategy. Dr. Geist presents nationally and internationally on her research, including Spain, Mexico, South America, and Scotland.


Dr. Geist received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Ohio University School of Music in 2012 and was nominated for the Presidential Teaching Award that same year. She brings a broad knowledge of various Music Therapy approaches and research methodologies to the classroom. Her experiences with clinical supervision include in-patient and outpatient psychiatric, geriatric, adolescent rehabilitation, adult residential, hospitals (e.g. med surgical, ICU, hemodialysis unit), early childhood education, as well as all levels of public school special education.


A music therapist for almost 20 years, Dr. Geist began her career 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.  


Her professional service experiences are diverse and include the Ohio University Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, Research Council, and the Baker Fund Committee as well as the Promotion and Tenure committees of the Ohio University School of Music and Faculty Senate. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the American Music Therapy Association’s Academic Program Approval Committee.


Select Publications and Presentations



Geist, K. & Geist, E. (currently under contract). Music In The Early Childhood Curriculum: Using Music To Support Developmentally Appropriate Practice In The Infant, Toddler and Preschool Classroom. The National Association for the Education of Young Children. 
Geist, K. (2016) Sources of Knowledge in Music Therapy Clinical Practice.  Ohio University. 



Geist, K. & Williams, C. (in press). 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.
McCarthy J. W., & Geist K. (2014). Music and augmentative and alternative communication. Journal of Society of Hearing and Linguistics of Taiwan (33), 1–14.
Geist, K. & Hitchcock, J. (2014). Single case design studies in Music Therapy:  Resurrecting experimental evidence in small group and individual Music Therapy clinical settings. Invited feature research article. Journal of Music Therapy 51:3.


Geist, K. (2016).  Sources of knowledge in Music Therapy clinical practice.  The American Music Therapy National Conference research poster session. Sandusky, OH.
Geist, K.  (2012). The effect of the music-based Keep a Beat intervention on engagement of 3-5 year old children in a group setting at a Head Start rural school. The American Music Therapy Association National Conference research poster session, St. Charles, IL.



$19,931.00 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. Co-PIs: Geist, E. (Teacher Education), Andary, N. (Dance), Braun, E. (Music), Brown, L. (Music Therapy), Benigno, J. (Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences), and Law, T. (Family Medicine). Innovation Strategy Planning Grant Announcement
$10,500.00 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
    Baker Fund Award Announcement


Geist, K. & Geist, E. (2016).  Keep a beat!!  The impact of rhythm on attention behaviors of children in the early childhood classroom group setting. The International Society of Music Educators Commission on Special Music Education and Music Therapy, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 2016.

Geist K. (2012).  Transforming the early childhood classroom:  Music neuroscience bridged to classroom best practice. Conference Keynote: Universidad Pedagógica Nacional y el XI Encuentro Internacional de Educación, Puebla, Mexico.
Geist K. (2012).  Keep a Beat! Using rhythm to activate brain processes for learning with preschool children. Conference 8-hour training: Universidad Pedagógica Nacional y el XI Encuentro Internacional de Educación, Texiutlan, Puebla, Mexico.


For Complete List of Professional Activity, see Kamile Geist CV

Educational Background:

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