Mainly drawing on explicit examples, the author introduces the reader to the most recent techniques to study finite and infinite dynamical systems. Without any knowledge of differential geometry or lie groups theory the student can follow in a series of case studies the most recent developments. r-matrices for Calogero-Moser systems and Toda lattices are derived. Lax pairs for nontrivial infinite dimensional systems are constructed as limits of classical matrix algebras. The reader will find explanations of the approach to integrable field theories, to spectral transform methods and to solitons. New methods are proposed, thus helping students not only to understand established techniques but also to interest them in modern research on dynamical systems.