Pepsi-Cola Company's program to assist music education in schools, called "Share the Joy with Music," hits stores nationwide this week.

From now through early January, communities can help schools in their area by collecting "Pepsi Notes" through the purchase of Pepsi products. The schools can redeem their Pepsi Notes for musical instruments, accessories, sheet music, software and other equipment that will help improve the quality of their music programs. The notes are available on 24-packs, 12-packs, 2-liter bottles, 3-liter bottles, and 24-ounce multipacks of Pepsi, Pepsi ONE, Diet Pepsi and Mountain Dew. Full program details are available on the Pepsi Notes web site (http://www.pepsinotes.com).

"Many school music programs have traditionally been under-funded," said Tom Bene, vice president, marketplace initiative development for Pepsi. "By collecting Pepsi Notes, consumers can help the schools in their area acquire items that will improve the music experience of the students in their community. They can make an impact where it matters most -- at the local level."

MENC: The National Association for Music Education has joined with Pepsi to communicate this opportunity to MENC's membership.

"We applaud Pepsi-Cola's efforts to support music education in this creative manner," said John J. Mahlmann, executive director of MENC.

Music123.com (http://www.music123.com), a leading online dealer of musical instruments with a division dedicated to schools and music educators, serves as the exclusive vehicle for program redemption and fulfillment. Music123.com powers the pepsinotes.com web site, where educators and students can view all the instruments available and set their collection goals. Schools later use the site to redeem their notes. Through the Pepsi Notes program, a full line of instruments will be available, ranging from tubas to triangles to tympanis. Schools will be able to select from all the top brands of instruments carried by Music123.com.

"We're extremely excited about this program because it provides an easy and fun opportunity for schools to enhance their budgets and get the instruments they have always needed but otherwise may not have been able to afford," said Jonathan Axelrod, president of Music123.com. "It's great to see schools forming collection drives with supermarkets, retailers and other local businesses, getting the whole community involved to support music in the schools."

Hallie Eisenberg, star of several Pepsi commercials in its "Joy of Cola" campaign, appears on Pepsi packaging, and other school-aged students appear on other in-store materials. The promotion will be supported by national radio advertising.

Pepsi-Cola Company (http://www.pepsi.com), headquartered in Purchase, N.Y., is the global beverage division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP - news; http://www.pepsico.com). Its brands in the United States include Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi ONE, Mountain Dew, Mug, Sierra Mist, Slice, Wild Cherry Pepsi, Aquafina, All Sport Body Quencher and FruitWorks. The company also makes and markets ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees, respectively, via joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks.

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world's largest arts education organization, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. Nearly 85,000 members represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC's activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education.

Music123.com (http://www.music123.com) is the most trafficked instrument retailer on the Internet as well as the Internet's leading school music dealer. Music123.com is staffed by professional musicians who provide customers truly expert product advice on the entire range of instruments. Its major departments include band & orchestral instruments, percussion, guitars, recording & pro audio gear, keyboards, sheet music and children's instruments. It is an authorized dear for most major brands including: Yamaha, Selmer, UMI, Fender, Gibson, Pearl, Roland, Korg, and many others. In total, Music123 carries more than 100,000 products all of which are available through the "Share The Joy With Music" program.