Livingston Taylor is a big-picture kind of guy. He’s been crafting durable songs that sweetly, poignantly and sometimes piquantly address life’s little idiosyncrasies since long before most of his students at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., were born.

Livingston Taylor is a big-picture kind of guy.


He’s been crafting durable songs that sweetly, poignantly and sometimes piquantly address life’s little idiosyncrasies since long before most of his students at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., were born. So if he’s a tad philosophical in his approach, who’s going to blame him?


“Human beings have not changed, 20-year-old homo sapiens have not changed, probably since Mesopotamia,” said Taylor, 60, in a recent interview, when asked about what his students are like these days. “They’ve embarked on the time directive to successfully reproduce the species, and what they’re trying to figure out is how they’re going to be of service to their peer group and as a result, be welcomed into their peer group, assuring success in the gene pool. Nothing new there.”


Taylor’s most recent album was 2010’s “Last Alaska Moon,” and in the past year, he’s been focused on revising “Stage Performance,” the book he wrote in the late 1990s examining how to win over an audience as a songwriter, speechwriter, speaker or performer of any kind.


That’s also Taylor’s specialty as a teacher: He offers Stage Performance (I and II) at Berklee, and it remains one of the college’s most popular classes.


“It needed revising to encompass the change of the Internet and what that means to record promotion and music promotion in general,” he said of the new edition, which will be available this fall. “The other reason was just to have an ability to have basically a hand-out to people that explains who the heck I am and what I teach.”


Taylor –– part of that well-known, Boston-rooted musical family that includes his renowned brother James –– has been teaching at Berklee since 1989. His students now are still asking the big questions, Taylor said. But as musicians and performers, they are often cowed by the shifts in music distribution brought on by the Internet and digital recordings.


“We’re on storm-tossed waters, and we’re a long ways from settling out of these changes,” Taylor said. “I feel a lot of what we’re undergoing on the planet –– in terms of the turmoil we’re experiencing –– is in large part due to the disassembly of the old communications pathways. I believe a lot of it will ultimately settle out, and I’m looking forward to it.”


Taylor sees his students –– and by extension, young musicians –– as having been born and raised “in the chaos” of all the change in the industry. As the new models are defined, he said, it’s those students who will lead the charge for the students after them.


“What I’m suggesting is a smorgasbord of what they should carry: some Bach, some Beethoven, some Gershwin, some Cole Porter. Carry the things that were the underpinnings of the record industry that just collapsed,” he said.


“When it gets reinvented, it will be reinvented with the things that went into inventing it in the first place. (The industry) needs mature people to winnow through what is good and what is awful. It needs editors. It needs gatekeepers.”


Taylor has been writing new songs and says he looks forward to recording again. Among his more recent collaborators is Shelton G. Berg, dean of the University of Miami’s Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music, with whom he’s discussing a new project and also a guest-teaching gig.


As is evident in every Taylor performance or turn of phrase, he hasn’t lost a step entering his seventh decade.


“My joy at being able to perform and teach is higher than it’s ever been,” he said. “It’s a miracle to be in front of a beautiful audience, and I’ve found that a little bit of performance has always morphed into my teaching.”