skip to Main Content

For 40 years, the FRIENDS of the Minnesota Orchestra Kinder Konzerts™ programs have welcomed young guests to Orchestra Hall to experience a narrated musical story based on a children’s book, performed by an ensemble of musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra. Promoting literacy development and music learning, the program reaches thousands of children every year.

During the 2019-2020 Kinder Konzerts season, author Mary Casanova’s tale One-Dog Canoe was transformed into a musical story by composer Daniel Nass.

During this time of stay-at-home learning, we have adapted One-Dog Canoe to enjoy at home. The following activities will help us think about music and stories and visiting the beautiful north woods.

Before You Listen

  • Read the book One-Dog Canoe, by Mary Casanova, if you have access to a copy. The musical work was based on the book, and the words in the composition are exactly same as the words in the book.
  • Before reaching the end of the story, ask your child to make a prediction about what happens next:
    • A girl goes out for a ride in her canoe with her dog
    • Other animals want to join in
    • What do you think happens when too many animals get in the canoe?
  • In the musical story, you will hear about these animals:
    • Dog
    • Beaver
    • Loon
    • Wolf
    • Bear
    • Moose
    • Frog

Look at these characters on the Character Picture Page. Can you make a sound for each animal?

  • How do you think the composer will make the sounds of these animals with musical instruments?
  • Imagine your favorite north woods scene. Describe the details of what you might see if you were out for a canoe ride in the middle of a lake.
  • Draw a picture.
Find the story!

Many libraries have One-Dog Canoe, or you can listen to the story and see the illustrations here or here.


  • Maybe you want to act the story out as you listen, or maybe you want to build a fort and pretend you are listening in a cabin or tent in the north woods, not too far from the lake with the girl and her canoe.
  • Eight instruments and a storyteller perform this piece. Listen again and look at the Instrument Picture Page. Close your eyes and listen to their sounds.


  • Can you re-tell the story? What happened first? What happened last? What was your favorite part?
  • Draw a canoe and see if you can remember which animals got into it. Do you remember which animal was first? Who were the exceptionally large animals? Who was the very last?
  • Re-create the story with homemade puppets, action figures, or stuffed animals. Listen to the music again or create your own version.


Back To Top