Kamile Geist Joins LSU Music

By Cullen Sadler

July 11, 2022

kamile geist

Kamile Geist, Associate Professor of Music Therapy, Ava & Cordell Haymon Endowed Chair

We are pleased to announce that Kamile Geist will join the LSU School of Music as the first Ava & Cordell Haymon Endowed Chair of Music Therapy, beginning Fall 2022.

A Louisiana native, Geist joins LSU after teaching and directing the Music Therapy undergraduate and graduate programs in the School of Music and College of Fine Arts at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio since 2003. While at Ohio University, she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Music Therapy and Arts in Health. She also guided undergraduate, master’s and doctoral research in Music Therapy and in other academic departments where the Fine Arts and health disciplines intersect. 

In 2017, Geist received the American Music Therapy Association – Great Lakes Region’s Scholarly Activity Award for her innovative work and publication about the impact of music for children, teachers, and families in Southeast Rural Appalachia Ohio. Her research focused on using rhythmic strategies to help improve attention behaviors of children and attachment behaviors between infants and caregivers. She led an interdisciplinary team in collaboration with the Ohio University Heritage College of Medicine, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Patton College of Education to study the effect of a rhythmic intervention on caregiver/infant attachment behaviors and caregiver stress hormone levels when interacting with their infants. 

With recent funding from the National Endowment for the Arts – Arts Works Grant and the Ohio University Research Committee Community-Engaged grants, she and her team trained community healthcare providers to teach evidence-based rhythmic strategies to caregivers of infants from underserved Appalachian communities, measuring infant/caregiver stress levels and social competence. She and her team have published their findings in the international journal of Music and Medicine and have presented regionally, nationally, and around the globe, including in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Scotland, Ecuador, and Austria.

Geist will create a robust music therapy curriculum at LSU – the first at a public Louisiana university – with the goal of eventually offering a full degree program approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents, the American Music Therapy Association, and the National Association of Schools of Music. 

Geist earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Baylor University, and a Master of Arts degree in Music Therapy at Texas Woman’s University. In 2016, she earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a cognate in Educational Research Methods from the Patton College of Education at Ohio University.