It doesn’t seem this is a partisan issue, but could this possibly be fake news? It does not fit with my underlying model of the world, not even for British people:
A leading music teacher has said the popularity of the ukulele is threatening classical guitar playing.
More than one in ten musical schoolchildren now play the ukulele, the largest proportion ever, a study by the music exam board ABRSM found. It said the instrument’s popularity grew from 1 per cent of school music students in 1997 to 15 per cent last year.
The ukulele was cited as a cause of the decline of the recorder in schools but in a letter to The Times, Graham Wade, former head of guitar teaching at Leeds College of Music, said the popularity of the four-stringed ukulele was threatening its six-stringed uncle.
“The ukulele is more likely to oust the guitar (whether classical or otherwise) from early instrumental tuition than the recorder,” he said. “I have been a classical guitar teacher in schools and colleges for 50 years, and the subtext of your headline is the demise of a worthy musical tradition.”
There is perhaps more sanity on this side of the ocean:
The latest data from America suggests that demand has fallen, with sales of ukuleles declining 15 per cent between 2018 and 2020 — although the lockdown provided a boost to sales.
Here is more from the Times of London.