Instrumental Music Concert Band at Festival of the Arts
Musical Theatre Aladdin 2019
Drama Cast from our productions
IMO Winterguard Cast of our 2020 program "I'd Rather Be Spinning"
Visual Arts Art is available to every student at IMO
Instrumental Ensembles Percussion Ensemble backstage after our performance

2021 - 2022 Programs 

Concert Winds & Percussion Ensemble 

Concert Winds is a performance-based ensemble open to students in grades 7-12 who possess prior experience on their instrument and the ability to read music. The ensemble consists of  woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments . Many styles of music are studied from classical to modern works. Study includes the care and cultivation of tone, building technique, responsible rehearsal habits, listening skills, and the ability to analyze and evaluate music and music performances. Several performances outside the school day are required.

*Audition Required: Students must have prior experience on their instrument and the ability to read music

When: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

    • Middle School: 2:30 to 4PM 
    • High School: 3 to 4PM

Fees: TBD

Percussion Ensemble is comprised of percussion students in grades 7-12, who also perform with Concert Winds.  During their concert each spring, the Percussion Ensemble performs a variety of contemporary percussion literature for both large and small ensembles. 

All percussionists at Innovation Montessori Ocoee and Innovation Montessori High School are members of the Percussion Ensemble

*Audition Required: Students must have prior percussion experience and the ability to read music

When: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

    • Middle School: 2:30 to 4PM
    • High School: 3 to 4PM

Fees: TBD

How to Join/Request Information

Please CLICK HERE to complete the Concert Winds & Percussion Ensemble Interest Form

Beginning Band: Elementary
All 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students are eligible to enroll in band and will need to rent or purchase an instrument to participate.
Once enrolled, each student will be placed in a small group of like instruments and will receive a half-hour lesson each week from 7:55AM to 8:25AM (day TBD). Eventually, a full band rehearsal will be added to the schedule to prepare for concerts. First-year band students will perform in the spring concert. Second-year students will perform in both the winter and spring. 
Beginning Band: Middle and High School
All Middle and High School students are eligible to enroll in band and will need to rent or purchase an instrument to participate.
Once enrolled, each student will be placed in a small group of like instruments and will receive a half-hour lesson each week from 7:55AM to 8:25AM (day TBD). Eventually, a full band rehearsal will be added to the schedule to prepare for concerts. Middle and High School students may audition to join Concert Winds or Percussion Ensemble at any time.
All Beginning Band Students
Students will be given assignments to practice at home each week. I suggest approximately 15 minutes of practice per day to ensure adequate progress.
Assignment/Assessment Pages with practice logs will be stapled to the inside front cover of their lesson books. This is where students will write in their assignments, where I assess their progress, and where students log their practice.
How to Join/Request Information

Please CLICK HERE to complete the Beginning Band Interest Form for 2021 - 2022


We are excited to offer chorus for 2021 - 2022! 

Information coming soon

When: Wednesday

  • Middle School: 1:30 to 3PM
  • High School: 2PM to 3PM
How to Join/Request Information

Please CLICK HERE to complete the Chorus Interest Form for 2021 - 2022

2021 - 2022 Competitive Programs


Winter guard is the sport of indoor color guard – much like your traditional color guard that performs with marching bands – we just take the performance indoors and perform to recorded music. IMO Winterguard is entering its third year and comprised of students in upper elementary, middle, and high school. The group learns movement and a variety of equipment including flags and sabers. Winter guards can be found in middle schools, high schools, universities and independent organizations

Learn more about Innovation Winterguard by visiting HERE

Innovation Winds

NEW! Innovation Winds is an extracurricular performance medium similar to indoor percussion and indoor color guard. It is an artistic performance outlet for wind and percussion players that allows for visual and musical expression in a non-seated/concert setting. Students will learn and perform a show that is staged on a basketball floor, just like indoor percussion and indoor color guard. This indoor setting is a unique environment that encourages musical and visual excellence and growth. This venue gives students the opportunity to achieve extraordinary feats through performance and competition.

Learn more about Innovation Winds by visiting HERE

Music Resources

Music resources including music theory lessons, scales, and audition materials for our instrumental music ensembles are available HERE.

Looking for music for your ensemble?

You can find it on the IMO Music page by following THIS LINK.

Concert Band, Percussion Ensemble, and 3rd Grade Recorder Class

Innovation Montessori in The Arts! Calendar

Please check the calendar often for updates throughout the year – including the summer!

*add this calendar to yours by clicking the “+” sign on the bottom

Our Approach

Like our friend Chef Gusteau and his "anyone can cook" approach to cooking, in these bands, everyone can play. Whether you are a brand new student that has never held an instrument, or you are a blossoming musician with a few years of experience, you will find an environment that is fun, challenging, and encouraging. Instrumental music not only offers students the ability to learn and perform music, but exposes them to core fundamentals such as teamwork, time management, multi-tasking, commitment, discipline, camaraderie, resilience, problem solving, and trust.


Winds and Percussion Director Michael Caruth

contact: |

Michael is the Founder of Innovation Montessori in the Arts and Director of Bands and Music Enrichment for IMO and IMHS. He has enjoyed being a musician for over two decades performing in numerous ensembles including marching band, jazz band, wind symphony, winter guard, drum corps, and college band. Michael began his teaching experience as a visual and winds performance technician for the nationally recognized Upper Darby High School Marching Royals (Pennsylvania) before joining the visual teams for the Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps (New Jersey), and Newark High School Winter Guard (Delaware). Outside the music world, he enjoyed his time as a trainer and facilitator for numerous companies including LensCrafters and The Walt Disney World Company. Michael has performed on numerous instruments including clarinet, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, baritone/euphonium, drums, and as a member of his high school winter guard. He traveled the country for 4 summers as a lead baritone player and small ensemble soloist for the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps. Most recently Michael was the director of IMO's production of Beauty and the Beast, Director of Camp Lakewood, and served as producer and stage manager for Aladdin JR. He is entering his sixth year as music director with IMO and IMHS. Michael and his wife Michelle recently celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary. They have a son attending West Orange HS and a daughter attending Florida Atlantic University where she is studying Marine Biology.

Fair Share

There are special financial needs involved with participation in any organization or activity which are not provided for by OCPS. The financial obligation that falls to the student and parent is called Fair Share Assessment. This assessment is common in a majority of schools around the nation and prevalent in OCPS for a wide-range of activities, including all programs in the arts.

As educators, we believe in providing your student with the highest quality music education possible. To this end, it is necessary for us to assess each student to cover costs inherent in providing a positive, life-changing experience.

All Students participating in programs within Innovation Montessori in The Arts! are expected to meet the payment schedule provided by the program director. Failure to meet the due dates OR contact the director in advance can result in student’s removal from participation. However, no student will be denied participation due to a family’s inability to pay. Parents of any student with financial difficulty must contact the director by email in advance of any due date affected for an extension - communication is key!

We incur many costs in advance on students’ behalf, therefore, we are not able to offer refunds due to ineligibility or change of schedule, as expenses are pre-paid. Plan well in advance.

Instrument Information

Students that are interested in most wind instruments will need to provide their own instrument via private rental or ownership. There are several music stores in the area which offer rentals - we have an account with Band Room which provides delivery and repairs directly to the school. Percussion instruments are provided (yearly instrument fee to help maintain and repair). A limited number of high quality Yamaha brass instruments are also available for rent through IMO - trumpet, mellophone, and baritone (yearly instrument fee to help maintain and repair).

Few General Statistics and Facts About Band Programs
  • Students of the arts continue to outperform their non-arts peers on the SAT, according to reports by the College Entrance Examination Board. In 2002, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework or experience in the arts.
  • The arts provide young people with authentic learning experiences that engage their minds, hearts, and bodies. Engagement in the arts nurtures the development of cognitive, social, and personal competencies.
  • While learning in other disciplines may often focus on development of a single skill or talent, the arts regularly engage multiple skills and abilities. Music requires the integration of eye-hand coordination, rhythm, tonality, symbol recognition and interpretation, attention span, and other factors that represent synthetic aspects of human intelligence. In addition, critical thinking, problem-solving, and learning how to work cooperatively toward shared goals are all skills which are reinforced through music education.
  • Band reinforces the skills of cooperation which are among the qualities now most highly valued in business and industry, especially in high-tech contexts. Members are required to shift from an I/Me focus to a We/Us focus. Instead of the logic being, "what's in it for me," it becomes, "what's in it for us?" Band is a group effort which focuses on group goals and the completion of those goals in each and every rehearsal and performance.
20 Important Benefits of Music In Our Schools
  1. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning: Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music, and songs can help imprint information on young minds.
  2. A mastery of memorization: Even when performing with sheet music, student musicians are constantly using their memory to perform. The skill of memorization can serve students well in education and beyond.
  3. Students learn to improve their work: Learning music promotes craftsmanship, and students learn to want to create good work instead of mediocre work. This desire can be applied to all subjects of study.
  4. Increased coordination: Students who practice with musical instruments can improve their hand-eye coordination. Just like playing sports, children can develop motor skills when playing music.
  5. A sense of achievement: Learning to play pieces of music on a new instrument can be a challenging, but achievable goal. Students who master even the smallest goal in music will be able to feel proud of their achievement.
  6. Kids stay engaged in school: An enjoyable subject like music can keep kids interested and engaged in school. Student musicians are likely to stay in school to achieve in other subjects.
  7. Success in society: Music is the fabric of our society, and music can shape abilities and character. Students in band or orchestra are less likely to abuse substances over their lifetime. Musical education can greatly contribute to children’s intellectual development as well.
  8. Emotional development: Students of music can be more emotionally developed, with empathy towards other cultures They also tend to have higher self esteem and are better at coping with anxiety.
  9. Students learn pattern recognition: Children can develop their math and pattern-recognition skills with the help of musical education. Playing music offers repetition in a fun format.
  10. Better SAT scores: Students who have experience with music performance or appreciation score higher on the SAT. One report indicates 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math for students in music appreciation courses.
  11. Fine-tuned auditory skills: Musicians can better detect meaningful, information-bearing elements in sounds, like the emotional meaning in a baby’s cry. Students who practice music can have better auditory attention, and pick out predictable patterns from surrounding noise.
  12. Music builds imagination and intellectual curiosity: Introducing music in the early childhood years can help foster a positive attitude toward learning and curiosity. Artistic education develops the whole brain and develops a child’s imagination.
  13. Music can be relaxing: Students can fight stress by learning to play music. Soothing music is especially helpful in helping kids relax.
  14. Musical instruments can teach discipline: Kids who learn to play an instrument can learn a valuable lesson in discipline. They will have to set time aside to practice and rise to the challenge of learning with discipline to master playing their instrument.
  15. Preparation for the creative economy: Investing in creative education can prepare students for the 21st century workforce. The new economy has created more artistic careers, and these jobs may grow faster than others in the future.
  16. Development in creative thinking: Kids who study the arts can learn to think creatively. This kind of education can help them solve problems by thinking outside the box and realizing that there may be more than one right answer.
  17. Music can develop spatial intelligence: Students who study music can improve the development of spatial intelligence, which allows them to perceive the world accurately and form mental pictures. Spatial intelligence is helpful for advanced mathematics and more.
  18. Kids can learn teamwork: Many musical education programs require teamwork as part of a band or orchestra. In these groups, students will learn how to work together and build camaraderie.
  19. Responsible risk-taking: Performing a musical piece can bring fear and anxiety. Doing so teaches kids how to take risks and deal with fear, which will help them become successful and reach their potential.
  20. Better self-confidence: With encouragement from teachers and parents, students playing a musical instrument can build pride and confidence. Musical education is also likely to develop better communication for students.