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About Dr. Christine Leist

Dr. Christine Leist joined Appalachian’s Hayes School of Music faculty in 2000. Having provided clinical music therapy services primarily for adult and older adult medical populations, Leist has supervised pre-internship students across a wide variety of ages and populations. Her research interests include music therapy applications in neurorehabilitation and health-care settings. Her research has focused on active and receptive music therapy interventions for adults with heart disease and music-assisted relaxation for women self-referred for stress management.

She holds a Ph.D. in music education with a music therapy cognate from Michigan State University (2011), a Master of Music in music therapy from the University of Miami (1997), and a Bachelor of Music in music therapy from The Florida State University (1992). Leist has completed additional training in Orff-Schulwerk, Neurologic Music Therapy and the Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music. She has presented at state, regional and national music therapy conferences on uses of technology in teaching, self-care for the professional, music of the Appalachian region, music therapy in health-care settings, functional guitar techniques and college teaching.

At Appalachian, Leist has served as a member of the University Research Council, the Wilson Scholars Selection Committee, and is currently a member of the State Employees' Combined Campaign (SECC) Advisory Board.

Areas of Expertise
Music therapy


Present Associate Professor of Music Therapy, Appalachian State University Hayes School of Music

Research Interests

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Honors and Awards

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Hayes School of Music, Appalachian State University. April 29, 2016
  • Research Enhancement Grant, Michigan State University
  • Recognized by Appalachian’s CollegeSTAR program for teaching practices that support students with learning differences.
  • Graduate Research Associate Mentorship Program (GRAM) Recipient, Appalachian State University


  • MUS 2070 Music in Special Education
  • MUS 1115 Accompanying
  • MUS 1053 Functional Guitar II
  • MUS 5900 Advanced Music Therapy Practice


2011 Ph.D., Michigan State University ‐ Music Education with Music Therapy Cognate
1997 M.A., University of Miami ‐ Music therapy
1992 B.A., Florida State University ‐ Music Therapy

Contact Information