Coldplay star Chris Martin's GCSE music tape discovered by former teacher

Listen to one of Coldplay star Chris Martin's earliest songs, written and performed for his GCSE music exam.

A cassette tape of songs by Coldplay's Chris Martin, written when he was a teenager, has been discovered in the back of a drawer by one of his former teachers.

The previously unheard works show how accomplished he was as a writer and performer, even at an early age.

Richard Kershaw taught the singer GCSE music when he was a pupil at Sherborne School in Dorset.

Now retired, he made the recording thirty years ago as part of the performance module of the exam, and only recently remembered he'd kept hold of it.

The 23 minute tape features a series of aural tests, a group cover of The Beatles' 'Hey Jude' and four original compositions.

"He was exceptional, even then," says Richard. "He would have been 15 or 16 at the time, and listening to it, you'd think it was a professional performer.

"We didn't normally hang onto tapes that people had made, but I just thought this was particularly good.

WATCH: Richard Kershaw speaks to Rachel Hepworth about his memories of the teenage Chris Martin, and his suspicions that he might become a star

"I sometimes used it to play to younger boys to encourage them to take up GCSE music and say 'This is what you could achieve, this is the standard you can aim for'."

The four songs show Martin's burgeoning musical style, and he's easily identifiable as the singer.

One song is called 'Blue', particularly interesting given that Coldplay's first big hit was 'Yellow.'

'Blue' and 'You are the One' are performed on guitar, keyboard and synthesiser, while another song, 'Way to Heaven' showcases Martin's acoustic talents, performed with just piano and vocals.

'Way to Heaven' sounds much more to me like Coldplay,' says Richard, "Or at least, what would become Coldplay."

Most of all, he remembers the teenager's composure and work ethic: "He was the person when he played, he really communicated with this audience.

"He looked at people, he didn't look self-conscious at all, and you just thought that he's a natural performer.

"I definitely got the sense that he wanted to be a success.

"He spent so much time working on his music that it was obvious he had ambitions in that direction.

"Of course, you could never assume that someone's going to make it big.

"But it wasn't a surprise that he did, and I'm delighted. He was lovely, not big-headed at all."

Sherborne School has produced many notable names, including computer pioneer Alan Turing, writer John Le Carré and actors Hugh Bonneville and Jeremy Irons, but no one else who has headlined Glastonbury four times.

WATCH: Rachel Hepworth's ITV News report on the rediscovered tape

Coldplay formed after Martin left the school and was studying at university in London.

The band shot to fame in 2000 with their single 'Yellow,' with the video filmed on Dorset's Studland Beach.

Richard refuses to accept any credit for Martin's future success, saying that while everyone in the music department encouraged him, he was incredibly self-motivated.

He was, however, pleased with the GCSE result.

"You'll be surprised to hear that he did pass," he laughs, "and he got his A, which is hardly surprising. They didn't do A stars in those days but I'm sure he would have got a double star at least."

And what happens to the tape now?

"I've no idea" says Richard. "I'm just delighted that I kept it. It's a lovely thing to have and I'm glad it's of interest to people."

And who knows - maybe 'Way to Heaven' could be resurrected as a new Coldplay single.